The Portillo Restaurant Group Inc., the iconic Chicago restaurant chain, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement under which Berkshire Partners, a private equity firm, will invest in Portillo’s, which includes Portillo’s Hot Dogs, Inc. and Barnelli's Pasta Bowl. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Berkshire Partners will work closely with Dick Portillo, founder of Portillo’s, to support the growth of the Company. Established in 1963, Portillo’s is famous for its high-quality food, which includes Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, unparalleled customer service and the creative décor of its dining rooms. Under Mr. Portillo’s leadership, Portillo’s has experienced significant growth over the past 50 years and currently operates 38 locations across Illinois, Indiana, California and Arizona.
Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Portillo said, “Portillo’s is my life’s work and I remain committed to ensuring the continued growth and success of the business. I was seeking an experienced partner that shared our vision for the Company and an appreciation for our culture. After careful consideration, Berkshire Partners proved to be the best choice. I look forward to working together to further strengthen our Company.”
Josh Lutzker, Managing Director at Berkshire Partners, said, “Portillo’s is a highly differentiated restaurant with a passionate customer base. In addition to great food, the Portillo’s name stands for quality and service. We are looking forward to working with Dick and his management team to uphold their culture of excellence. We see great potential in the business and share Dick’s vision to methodically expand operations in Chicago and beyond.”
Berkshire Partners has significant experience partnering with management teams at small to mid-sized consumer companies to accelerate growth. The firm seeks out strong businesses with attractive growth prospects and employs a highly collaborative approach to realize the full potential of each enterprise. Berkshire Partners’ investments have included recognized brands such as Bare Escentuals, Carter’s, Melissa & Doug and Party City.
Piper Jaffray acted as financial advisors to The Portillo Restaurant Group and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel. For Berkshire Partners, UBS acted as financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal counsel.
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