West Palm Beach, FL – August 1, 2018 – Palm Beach Capital Fund IV, L.P., through one of its investment entities, today announced that it made an investment in JAE Restaurant Group, LLC ( “JAE” or “Company”), one of the nation’s largest franchisees in the quick service restaurant (“QSR”) industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 2014 when entrepreneurs and Wendy’s franchisees Jhonny Mercado, Andres Garcia and Eddie Rodriguez merged their respective Florida Wendy’s stores to form JAE, the Company currently owns and operates over 215 Wendy’s restaurant locations throughout Florida, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Texas and currently ranks as the 5th largest franchisee in the Wendy’s system. The Company has become one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisees in the country and is currently ranked as #47 multi-unit franchisee in the country.
Eddie Rodriguez, Founder, JAE Chairman and Wendy’s franchisee since 1993, stated “We have experienced significant growth since 2014 when Andres, Jhonny and I came together to form JAE. However, our progress has not been growth just for the sake of growth. We have built our company responsibly and continue to operate that way on a daily basis – one restaurant at a time.”
Rodriguez continued, “Bringing in Palm Beach Capital as a partner in our business will allow us to continue growing our restaurant base responsibly. Their expertise, guidance and access to capital will allow JAE to expand operations, not only in the markets we currently serve, but throughout the eastern United States. The Wendy’s Company has been extremely supportive of Palm Beach Capital and has been a remarkable partner throughout my career. We expect that support will continue and grow now that Palm Beach Capital is our growth partner.”
“This equity investment marks our first foray into the quick service restaurant industry,” stated Mike Schmickle, partner at Palm Beach Capital. “We are very impressed with both our new partners at the JAE and also the entire leadership team at The Wendy’s Company. We believe that through new store development and remodels under the company’s ‘image activation’ initiative, The Wendy’s Company and JAE are well positioned within the QSR industry to capture additional market share and achieve significant growth.”
About Palm Beach Capital
Founded in 2001, Palm Beach Capital is a private equity investment firm with offices in both West Palm Beach and Sarasota, Florida. Currently investing out of its fourth committed fund, the firm focuses on high growth investment opportunities and partners with management teams in middle market management buyouts, recapitalizations and growth equity investments. Since its inception, Palm Beach Capital has made investments in 47 portfolio companies (57 distinct investments including co-investment vehicles). For more information, please visit the firm’s website at www.pbcap.com.
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