Southern California Pizza Co., LLC
Southern California Pizza, a Corona, California company organized by Sentinel and management, owns and operates 224 Pizza Hut restaurants in the greater Los Angeles market, and has rights to develop the Pizza Hut brand in this region.
In 2008, Sentinel acquired an initial block of 123 of restaurants in a corporate divestiture transaction from franchisor Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. This was Sentinel's third investment in the quick-service restaurant sector and its second in the Yum! Brands system. Sentinel's two prior quick-service restaurant investments—Border Foods, a Taco Bell franchisee (part of Yum! Brands), and Falcon Holdings, a Church's Chicken franchisee—were both successful. Sentinel made the acquisition through an investment in newly-formed Southern California Pizza Company.
In August 2009, Southern California Pizza acquired an additional 98 Pizza Huts in northern Los Angeles, making it the largest franchisee in California and the third largest in the Pizza Hut system, which operates more than 7,500 QSRs worldwide. Sentinel originated and sponsored the transaction, arranged the acquisition debt and provided equity financing from Sentinel Capital Partners III, L.P.
Sentinel Capital Partners also originated, sponsored and provided the private equity financing for the original formation of Southern California Pizza and structured and arranged debt financing for the acquisition.
In December 2012, after owning the business for more than four years and achieving substantially all of our investment objectives, Southern California Pizza was sold to another private equity firm. Under Sentinel's ownership, Southern California Pizza was transformed into a standalone business with its own management and corporate infrastructure from a regional group of stores tightly integrated into Pizza Hut's existing infrastructure. During this period, Southern California Pizza grew substantially and almost tripled its profitability. Southern California Pizza remains well positioned to continue growing under the leadership of its superb management team.