Dallas – Fogo de Chão (“Fogo”), the internationally renowned restaurant brand from Brazil, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity (“Bain Capital”) to accelerate its growth and expansion. Fogo will continue to operate under its current management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Barry McGowan. Funds affiliated with Rhône Capital (together with certain of their affiliates, “Rhône”) have owned Fogo since taking the company private in 2018. Financial terms of the private purchase were not disclosed.
Founded in Southern Brazil in 1979, Fogo elevates the centuries-old cooking technique of churrasco in 76 locations worldwide. Under Rhône’s ownership, Fogo experienced rapid growth across markets and is in its third year of 15% annual growth.
“Over the past several years, we made significant progress enhancing our unique offering and ability to bring the very best in experiential dining to more guests than ever before. We thank the Rhône team for their partnership during a critical and successful period in our history,” said McGowan. “Bain Capital shares our vision, and we are excited to leverage their extensive experience investing in and supporting the global growth of restaurant businesses. We are excited by this next chapter and believe there is tremendous upside in our future as we continue to execute against our growth plans with Bain Capital.
“Barry and his team have done an impressive job building on the brand’s differentiated concept, strong value proposition, and rich Brazilian heritage. Fogo is the clear market leader, and we believe the business is poised to continue its rapid growth as consumers increasingly seek unique and authentic dining experiences,” said Adam Nebesar, a Partner at Bain Capital. “We look forward to partnering with Barry and team, and supporting them with our experience and resources to help accelerate growth while maintaining Fogo’s distinctive authenticity,” added Mark Saadine, a Principal at Bain Capital.
“When we took the company private in 2018, we embarked on a new chapter to refine the Fogo concept and experience. Despite the challenges the restaurant industry has faced in the last few years, we collaborated with Fogo’s talented leadership team to strengthen an already exceptional business while successfully executing an ambitious expansion plan across the U.S. and internationally,” said Lucas Flynn, Managing Director at Rhône. “We thank Barry and the Fogo leadership for their partnership, and we look forward to watching their continued success,” added Eytan Tigay, Managing Director at Rhône.
The transaction is expected to close in September and is subject to customary closing conditions, including requisite regulatory approvals. Debt financing for the transaction is being led by Deutsche Bank, who is also serving as financial advisor to Bain Capital. PwC is serving as accounting advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis is serving as legal counsel to Bain Capital.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as the exclusive financial advisor, Deloitte is serving as accounting advisor and Sullivan & Cromwell is serving as legal counsel to Fogo de Chão and Rhône.