Two New York Buyout Firms Complete Purchase of McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants

August 22, 2001

NEW YORK, August 22, 2001 /PR Newswire/ — Two New York-based private equity investment firms, Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill and Co., Inc. (BRS) and Castle Harlan, Inc., announced today they had completed their purchase of McCormick & Schmick’s seafood restaurants from Avado Brands, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AVDO) of Madison, Georgia, in a transaction valued at $123 million.

McCormick & Schmick’s management, including founders Bill McCormick and Doug Schmick, also participated in the transaction.

McCormick & Schmick’s operates 34 upscale seafood restaurants throughout the United States. In 2000, it had sales of $162.4 million, up from $125.6 million in 1999. Its headquarters is in Portland, Oregon.

BRS and Castle Harlan are both experienced restaurant investors and operators. Castle Harlan formerly owned McCormick & Schmick’s but sold it in 1997 to Apple South, a predecessor company of Avado.

Equity financing for the transaction that has just closed came from Castle Harlan Partners III L.P., a $630 million private equity limited partnership formed in 1997, and from Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. II, L.P. Fleet Boston, SunTrust Bank and IBJ Whitehall Bank formed a group that provided senior debt financing.

BRS was formed in 1995 by Bruce C. Bruckmann, Harold O. Rosser, Stephen C. Sherrill and Stephen F. Edwards and manages approximately $1.2 billion of committed capital. The firm is currently investing its second fund, which has $770 million of committed capital. The founding partners are former senior officers of Citicorp Venture Capital Ltd., where they worked from the mid-1980s until forming their own firm.

Castle Harlan was founded in 1987 by John K. Castle, former president & chief executive officer of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the investment banking firm, and Leonard M. Harlan, founder and former chairman of The Harlan Company.


Paul Kaminski – Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., 212-521-3700