PWP Growth Equity has acquired a stake in Mediterranean fast casual chain Luna Grill. PWP is the middle market market private equity arm of Perella Weinberg Partners.

Luna, based in San Diego and founded in 2004, operates 38 restaurants in California and Texas. The target is known for made to order authentic Mediterranean dishes such as falafel, kabobs and hummus. Luna said it will use the PWP investment to expand in both its existing as well as new markets. It was advised on the deal by W Partners, while PWP was advised by Financo. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Luna Grill found a niche in catering to consumers seeking convenient and authentic high-end food" says PWP partner Chip Board. PWP invests up to $100 in businesses across the consumer and industrials sector. The private equity firm has previously invested in restaurant operators Black Bear Diner and MOD Pizza.

Buyers are showing an appetite for ethnic restaurants, as consumers want food that reflects their diversity. Curry Up Now acquired Tava Kitchen; Freeman Spogli & Co. has acquired a majority stake in Mexican restaurant chain Cafe Rio; General Atlantic made a minority growth investment in fast-casual operator Barteca Holdings; and Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International Inc. agreed to purchase Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Luna Grill

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Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Assistant Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions and writes The Buyside column about corporate dealmaking, and also covers the consumer sector.