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Hojeij Branded Foods

Company Description

HBF, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, is one of the leading and fastest growing operators of food and beverage concessions in U.S.-based airports. Since opening its first airport-based restaurant in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 1996, HBF has expanded into eight other major U.S. airports and now operates multiple restaurants in airports across the country.  HBF has developed a national reputation for providing customer satisfaction by emphasizing operational execution and customer service, providing top-of-the-line food quality, and partnering with “in-demand” brands not traditionally found in airports.

Objective

Having recently been awarded several new airport contracts that would more than double the size of the Company’s restaurant portfolio, HBF sought financing to repay existing debt and fund a substantial number of new restaurants over the next two years.  In addition, given the Company’s success rate in competitive RFP processes over the past 18 months, management sought a partner interested in supporting the Company’s anticipated expansion into other major U.S. airports.

Advisory Role

VRA Partners was engaged by HBF to identify a financing partner willing to provide the near-term capital need and capable of funding future growth as new contracts are awarded.  VRA approached more than 130 capital sources, including commercial banks, mezzanine debt funds and specialty finance companies, and received substantial interest.  At the conclusion of the transaction, VRA was able to negotiate a financing structure that will allow HBF to continue the rapid expansion of its restaurant portfolio in the U.S. over the next several years.

Result

HBF completed a debt financing with Ares Capital Corporation (NASD: ARCC), a New York-based specialty finance company with significant experience in the airport concessions and retail space.  Ares was able to structure the financing to best meet the current and future needs of the Company.  An initial term loan was immediately made available to pay down existing debt and transaction fees.  Additionally, Ares committed to two delayed draw term loans and a revolving credit facility to fund the build out of new restaurants over the next several years.