Sentinel exits successful investment in Pizza Hut franchise platform

Builds Third Largest Franchisee in Pizza Hut System

NEW YORK, December 10, 2012 – Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in promising lower middle market companies, today announced the sale of Southern California Pizza Company, the largest Pizza Hut franchisee in southern California with 224 locations. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sentinel built Southern California Pizza during the course of four years through two major transactions as well as opening new locations. In 2008, Southern California Pizza acquired its first 123 restaurants through a corporate divestiture by franchisor Pizza Hut, Inc.. A year later, Sentinel acquired an additional 98 restaurants from Pizza Hut, Inc. These two acquisitions together with new unit openings made Southern California Pizza the largest Pizza Hut franchisee in California and the third largest in the 7,600-store U.S. Pizza Hut system. All 224 Southern California Pizza restaurants are located in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange counties.

“We are extremely pleased with our investment in Southern California Pizza,” said John McCormack, senior partner at Sentinel. “During our ownership, we were fortunate to partner with one of the top management teams in the industry and to receive strong brand support from Pizza Hut. We feel privileged to have been part of the Pizza Hut system during the past four years and thank the management teams at both Pizza Hut and parent company YUM! Brands for their outstanding leadership.”

“Together with our partners at Sentinel, we created a powerful Pizza Hut platform that is a leader in the important Los Angeles quick-service restaurant market,” said Jerry Ardizzone, CEO of Southern California Pizza and a Pizza Hut veteran. “Our company remains well-positioned for the future and we are excited about the opportunities ahead.”

The investment in Southern California Pizza is consistent with Sentinel’s successful investment history in restaurants and franchising. Prior investments include Falcon Holdings, a Church’s Chicken franchisee; and Border Foods, a Taco Bell franchisee. Both were highly successful for Sentinel. Earlier this year, Sentinel acquired Huddle House, a leading franchisor and operator of family dining restaurants in the southeastern U.S.

The exit of Southern California Pizza marks the latest event in an active year for Sentinel. The firm successfully completed four other exits in 2012: Interim Healthcare, a leading franchisor of skilled home healthcare services; Massage Envy, the nation’s largest provider and franchisor of massage therapy and facial treatment services; Inscape Publishing, a leading provider of assessment and training products and services that develop interpersonal skills; and LTI Boyd, a leading manufacturer of mission-critical sealing and energy management solutions. During 2012, in addition to Huddle House, Sentinel made two more new platform acquisitions: Colson, the leading global manufacturer of casters, wheels, and related hardware products; and Northeast Dental Management, a regional dental practice management company in the mid-Atlantic.