San Diego Business Journal

Perpetual Capital, CR3 Capital Acquire Garden Fresh Restaurants

By Sarah de Crescenzo Monday, August 7, 2017
   

San Diego-based restaurant chain Garden Fresh Restaurants Corp., parent of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, has been acquired by Perpetual Capital Partners and CR3 Capital, an investment affiliate of CR3 Partners LLC.

Financial terms of the deal, announced Monday, were not disclosed.

CR3 Partners, which is based in Dallas, is a private-equity firm that focuses on turnaround management. Perpetual Capital, which is based near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., is an ownership group backed by the Allbritton family, which sold its broadcasting business for nearly $1 billion in a deal that closed in 2014.

Garden Fresh filed for bankruptcy in October 2016. It sold its assets to a group led by Cerberus Capital Management LP, the New York-based distressed debt investor and private-equity firm, in January as part of its bankruptcy restructuring plan. CR3 Partners led the company’s subsequent restructuring and has been managing the company for several months, Garden Fresh said in its statement on Monday.

"Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes are uniquely positioned with an extremely loyal customer base and dedicated restaurant teams," said CR3 Partners partner Gene Baldwin, interim CEO of Garden Fresh. "This creates new opportunities for all of our employees, guests and business partners as we move forward."

Garden Fresh operates 97 restaurants in nine states; the eateries are called Souplantation in Southern California and Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere.