Saladworks today announced that New York-based Centre Lane Partners LLC has made an investment in the company. In addition, the private investment firm has committed to investing substantial capital to accelerate the company's growth nationwide, with a strategic focus along the I-95 corridor. Centre Lane's investment portfolio includes leading middle market companies in industries ranging from packaging, to consumer products manufacturing, franchising and global aviation services.
Saladworks is an iconic Philadelphia Brand with a stable 29-year history. The Company's long tenured management team will remain in place to lead the next phase of growth. Saladworks President Paul Steck has been promoted to the position of President/CEO, expanding his company leadership responsibilities. Steck has been with Saladworks for more than 12 years and is a well-known and respected executive in the industry. Saladworks is preparing for growth with such initiatives as new store design, menu enhancement and an increase in support to its franchisees. To support these objectives and its franchisees, Saladworks plans to increase staff in the home office by more than 40 percent over a six-month period.
"We're proud to be affiliated with Centre Lane, a private equity firm known for aligning itself with businesses that hold the lead market positions in their categories and offer strong growth potential," said Steck, President and CEO, Saladworks. "Moreover, we're excited about what their support and investment means in terms of growth of the brand, expanded product and service offerings to our customers and additional support to our franchisees."
The acquisition follows a four-month search for a buyer after Saladworks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in February 2015. Saladworks customer and franchisees were not affected by the filing, as all 108 Saladworks' restaurant locations in the U.S., Canada, Dubai and Singapore remained opened throughout this process. Saladworks remains the leader in the made to order, entree sized salad category with a health conscious consumer base that lends itself to a fast casual atmosphere.
"Saladworks was the creator of the fresh-tossed salad restaurant concept and from the beginning has been committed to offering consumers an exciting dining option that had previously been unavailable – fresh, fast and convenient food offerings that fit today's healthier lifestyles," said Mayank Singh, Managing Director, Centre Lane Partners. "For us, this type of focus and commitment is the hallmark of a wise business investment and we look forward to partnering with Saladworks to support the company's growth and success."
"It's clear to us that Centre Lane recognizes both the current value of our brand and also has the vision to imagine its future potential. We're incredibly excited about what lies ahead," concluded Steck.
Centre Lane is a private investment firm focused on making equity and debt, control and non-control, investments in North American middle market companies. Centre Lane targets companies with revenues between $20 and $500 million that have leading market positions and sustainable competitive advantages in their respective niches. Industries targeted for investment are broad and diverse with no industry excluded from our consideration.
Saladworks, the nation's first and largest fresh-tossed salad franchise concept operates 108 franchise locations in fifteen states and four countries Internationally with more than 50 stores in development. The company was founded in Cherry Hill, NJ in 1986 and began franchising in 2001. Saladworks locations offer a guilt free, gourmet menu of flavorful salads averaging less than 300 calories with signature dressings, as well as complimentary menu items geared toward on the go consumers seeking a healthy lifestyle.
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