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Checkers Drive-In Acquired In $525 Million Deal

A branch of the Checkers fast food chain in Lower Manhattan in New York on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. The owner of the Checkers Drive-In Restaurants chain, Sentinel Capital Partners, is reported to be preparing to sell the chain in a deal that could beA branch of the Checkers fast food chain in Lower Manhattan in New York on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. The owner of the Checkers Drive-In Restaurants chain, Sentinel Capital Partners, is reported to be preparing to sell the chain in a deal that could be
A branch of the Checkers fast food chain in Lower Manhattan in New York on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.Photo by Richard Levine — Alamy Stock Photo

Drive-thru hamburger purveyor Checkers Drive-In Restaurants is being acquired in a $525 million transaction between a pair of private-equity firms.

New York-based Oak Hill Capital Partners is buying the restaurant chain from another NY-based firm called Sentinel Capital Partners in a deal that will result in changing ownership for a 31-year-old chain that operates 840 locations across 29 states and in D.C. The company is a quick-service restaurant that competes with the likes of McDonald’s (MCD) and Burger King (BKW) by selling burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, fries and shakes.

Kevin Mailender, partner at Oak Hill, said the firm was scooping up Checkers because it was reporting growth that was outpacing the broader quick-service restaurant industry. He further added that more growth potential exists, likely via new restaurant openings.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. It includes restaurants under the Checkers and Rally’s banners.

Checkers has been the subject of a handful of transactions in recent years. The deal making first started when it was acquired back in 2006 by an affiliate of PE firm Wellspring Capital Management for just $188 million. Wellspring had reportedly mulled an IPO in 2013 but ultimately opted to sell the Checkers and Rally’s chains to Sentinel in early 2014. Terms of that transaction weren’t disclosed.