Sentinel and management acquire 97 Churchs Chicken Restaurants



NEW YORK, December 22, 1999 - Sentinel Capital Partners and management of Falcon Holdings, LLC are pleased to announce the acquisition of 97 Churchs Chicken Restaurants in several Midwest markets in a transaction valued at $35 million. Sentinel sponsored the transaction and provided the equity financing.

Falcon, organized by Sentinel and management, is now the largest franchisee in the worldwide Churchs system, and operates restaurants in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Dayton, Richmond, and Columbus. Falcon has also secured exclusive rights to develop the Churchs brand in Indianapolis and Richmond. Falcon is well-positioned to grow by building and acquiring additional restaurants within the fragmented Churchs system.

Churchs Chicken is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AFC Enterprises, the franchisor of the Churchs concept and also an owner/operator of Churchs restaurants. AFC Enterprises is one of the world's largest operators and franchisors of restaurants, bakeries and cafes with more than 3,300 restaurants in 28 countries. AFC Enterprises is the parent company of Seattle's Best and Torrefazione Italita Coffees, Churchs Chicken, Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits, Cinnabon International and Ultrafryer Systems. AFC Enterprises has a long history of growth and profitability, and generates system-wide sales of more than $1.8 billion per year.

With more than $800 million in system-wide revenues and 1,400 restaurants worldwide, Churchs is the second largest QSR specializing in chicken in the United States. Established more than 45 years ago, Churchs specializes in southern-style chicken. The Churchs concept is based on a focused menu selection, value pricing and an emphasis on take-out. Churchs has generated strong operating results during the past five years with system-wide same store sales increasing an average of 4.5% per annum.