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Banking Fuzzy's sells majority stake to Atlanta-based fund

Fuzzy’s sells majority stake to Atlanta-based fund

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, the casual restaurant chain founded in 2001 near TCU, has sold a 70 percent stake in the company to Atlanta investment fund NRD Capital Management.

The investment fund was drawn to the quality of the product and the profitability of individual locations in the 90-restaurant chain, according to a news release from NRD.

“NRD Capital is doing what it set out to do from beginning,” said Aziz Hashim, NRD Capital founder and managing partner. “We are finding brands with compelling unit economics and partnering with their existing management teams to maximize the impact that the brand can have through franchising. Our approach to private equity is unlike anything in the space, and it’s proving to be extremely fruitful.”

The investment by NRD will mean the Fuzzy’s chain can continue with expansion, according to Chuck Bush, president of Fuzzy’s.

“We have seen great success with our brand, primarily growing throughout the Southern and Midwestern U.S.,” he said. “We knew that to grow our business dramatically, we needed a partner who knows franchising, has access to qualified developers and is willing to partner with our existing team to enhance the brand and maximize growth.”

NRD recently acquired Cincinnati-based Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants, and the firm is focused on investing in – and accelerating the growth of – brands that offer superior products and compelling unit economics.

“The unit economics and growth potential of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop makes it the perfect fit for us,” said NRD Partner Harrison Price. “We have the tools to make Fuzzy’s a powerhouse in the fast casual segment by working with management to enrich this fun, exciting brand and by focusing on bringing additional operators in to accelerate new development.”

Fuzzy’s owns seven of its locations and franchises 83 of the restaurants. Founded in 2001 near Texas Christian University, the company was acquired in 2003 by Chuck Bush and his father, Alan Bush.

Tacos have attracted a lot of interest among investment firms lately. TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of Fort Worth-based TPG, in December announced the acquisition of Tex-Mex quick service restaurant chain Taco Bueno.

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