City Capital Ventures Invests in New Jersey-based Burger King and Popeyes Franchisee Rackson Restaurants

·4 min read

City Capital Ventures, LLC ("CCV"), a private investment partnership headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is pleased to announce it has made a majority investment in Rackson Restaurants ("Rackson" or the "Company"). Rackson, headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey, is a 55+ unit QSR franchisee of Burger King and Popeyes restaurants with locations across six states in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. Rackson is led by co-owner and CEO, Chris Johnson, a 2nd generation QSR operator with an outstanding track record of developing talent and delivering superior operating results. CCV is excited to partner with Chris Johnson and shares his desire to build a large, multi-branded QSR platform across the attractive Northeastern U.S. marketplace.

Chris Johnson, Founder and CEO of Rackson, commented, "I am excited to partner with CCV at this critical moment in Rackson’s growth journey. CCV stood out as an exceptional partner for the company given their patient, long-term approach, and we share big dreams to build an industry leading QSR management company. Furthermore, the caliber and expertise of CCV and their advisors will strengthen our operational excellence and turbocharge our growth strategy. This transaction kicks off a great opportunity at precisely the right time for all of Rackson’s stakeholders; we are just getting started!"

Dan Kipp, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of CCV, commented, "We are thrilled to be partnering with Chris Johnson who we believe can build an even larger, multi-branded QSR platform in the attractive Northeastern U.S. The ‘Flame-Grilling since 1954’ message is well-positioned in today’s QSR market and allows Burger King to enjoy a playful, attractively irreverent position as the #2 QSR burger concept in the world." Kipp continued, "Rackson has a strong presence in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with an attractive, profitable base of restaurants, and we look forward to supporting Chris Johnson as he continues to focus on operational excellence and growth through acquisition. Chris shares our commitment to do things the right way, and we hope quality owners considering their future options will regard Rackson as a safe pair of hands in which to entrust their legacies." Mr. Kipp will be joining Rackson’s Board of Directors pursuant to the transaction.

The Rackson transaction marks the second investment by CCV into the Burger King system, following CCV’s successful 2019 acquisition of Canada’s largest Burger King franchisee, The Redberry Group, which owns and operates 111 Burger King restaurants in Canada. CCV intends to leverage substantially the same high-quality Board group that it installed at Redberry to support the Rackson investment. The investor group includes Saxonwold Capital, led by Rob Selati, a former co-founder, head of the Consumer team, and current Senior Advisor at Madison Dearborn Partners. Selati will become Chairman of Rackson and will be joined by Gary Graves, an Operating Advisor of CCV with deep experience in retail and restaurant leadership roles including Caribou Coffee, where he served as Chairman, and LaPetite Academy, where he was CEO.

"We are extremely impressed with Rackson’s management team, especially Chris Johnson, and are excited to partner with them in accelerating Rackson’s growth in the Northeast and delivering superior results," added incoming Chairman Selati. "CCV and its Operating Advisors have extensive experience in the Burger King System through Redberry as well as the restaurant industry in general. I am confident we will quickly leverage this knowledge to help Rackson achieve its strategic growth plan and build meaningful equity value in the years ahead."

Senior debt for the transaction was provided by MUFG. Perkins Coie LLP served as legal counsel to CCV. Mastodon Ventures, Inc. served as financial advisor to Rackson and Mayer Brown LLP was the Company’s legal counsel.

About Rackson Restaurants

Incorporated in 2013, Rackson Restaurants is a leading Burger King franchisee located in the Northeastern U.S. Rackson is headquartered in New Jersey with additional corporate offices in New York City. As of January 2021, Rackson operated 55 Burger King and Popeyes restaurants across six states. Rackson is led by 2nd generation QSR operator Chris Johnson and has become a preferred growth partner of Burger King and Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of both Burger King and Popeyes.

About City Capital Ventures

City Capital Ventures is an investment partnership whose purpose is to pair capital with business opportunity in a bespoke fashion to better provide investors choice in their private market activities. Investing on behalf of their network of family offices and private market investors, CCV seeks out firms with innovative business designs, exceptional leadership and attractive niche positions and looks to invest at inflection points—not pre-determined stages. Because of their flexible mandate, CCV investments are unbound by size or industry, though they typically invest in consumer, commercial and service businesses requiring up to $100 million of capital. CCV’s aim is to create lasting value for their investors, the companies in which they invest, and the broader stakeholders touched by their companies. For more information, visit www.citycapitalventures.com.

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Contacts

Jeremy Bauer
City Capital Ventures
Jeremy@citycapitalventures.com
312.546.8144