Velvet Taco Receives Significant Investment from Leonard Green & Partners
L Catterton and FB Society to retain ownership stakes and continue to support its growth and success
DALLAS, TX. (November 30, 2021) – Velvet Taco (the “Company”), the popular Dallas-based restaurant concept serving up globally inspired tacos, today announced that Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (“LGP”) acquired a majority stake in Velvet Taco from L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm, and FB Society (formerly Front Burner Restaurants), which spearheaded the creation of Velvet Taco ten years ago. L Catterton and FB Society will retain significant minority ownership stakes in the business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in Dallas in 2011, Velvet Taco is a one-of-a-kind taco concept serving premium food in a unique and funky, fast-casual setting. Velvet Taco offers over 20 taco varieties on its innovative menu, as well as creative sides and red velvet cake, all scratch-made in-house with the finest, freshest ingredients. The brand, which has more than doubled its footprint over the past two years, will reach over 40 locations by the end of 2022.
“Since we began our partnership with L Catterton, we have continued to raise the bar higher and elevate the one-of-a-kind experience that our guests have come to expect when they choose to dine with Velvet Taco,” said Clay Dover, President and CEO of Velvet Taco. “L Catterton has been a tremendous partner through this chapter of our growth, and we are excited to have them remain a part of the Velvet Taco family going forward. In addition, we are thrilled to welcome LGP as a new partner as we embark on this next phase of Velvet Taco’s national expansion.”
“Velvet Taco has established itself as a leader in the fast-casual restaurant category with its innovative, culinary-driven concept and we believe the Company is extremely well positioned for growth and expansion,” said Evan Hershberg, Partner at LGP. “We are excited to build on the Company’s significant momentum and strengthen its brand leadership across the U.S.”
“We are proud of what Velvet Taco has become since we initially invested five years ago. The success has been a result of a tremendous partnership with Clay, the Velvet Taco team, and FB Society,” said Chris Roberts, Partner in L Catterton’s Growth Fund. “We are excited to welcome LGP to the family and look forward to supporting Clay and the Velvet Taco team as they bring their unique concept to more and more guests across the country.”
Arlington Capital Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Velvet Taco, with Finn Dixon & Herling LLP serving as legal advisor to Velvet Taco and L Catterton.
North Point served as financial advisor to LGP, with Latham & Watkins LLP serving as legal advisor.
About Velvet Taco
Founded in 2011, the Dallas-based restaurant concept set out to elevate the taco through globally inspired recipes and the freshest ingredients. The acclaimed restaurant provides a broad sampling of international tastes and inventive combinations, delivering flavors that are as memorable as they are delicious. In addition to dozens of local accolades, Velvet Taco was named Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2016 “Hot Concept” and in 2020 won a Nation’s Restaurant News MenuMasters Award in the category of Best Limited-Time Offer for its Weekly Taco Feature. Velvet Taco has almost 30 locations in Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. For more information, including a complete menu, visit velvettaco.com and follow the brand on Facebook and Instagram @VelvetTaco.
Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (“LGP”) is a leading private equity investment firm founded in 1989 and based in Los Angeles with over $50 billion of assets under management. The firm partners with experienced management teams and often with founders to invest in market-leading companies. Since inception, LGP has invested in over 100 companies in the form of traditional buyouts, going-private transactions, recapitalizations, growth equity, and selective public equity and debt positions. The firm primarily focuses on companies providing services, including consumer, healthcare, and business services, as well as retail, distribution and industrials. For more information, please visit www.leonardgreen.com.
About L Catterton
With approximately $30 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and 17 offices around the world, L Catterton is the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. L Catterton’s team of nearly 200 investment and operating professionals, partners with management teams around the world to implement strategic plans to foster growth, leveraging deep category insight, operational excellence, and a broad partnership network. Since 1989, the firm has made over 250 investments in leading consumer brands. For more information about L Catterton, please visit www.lcatterton.com.
About FB Society
FB Society (formerly Front Burner Restaurants) is the restaurant innovation lab behind unique concepts such as Whiskey Cake, Legacy Hall, Mexican Sugar, Sixty Vines, Haywire and more. The company is driven by a thriving culture and constant pursuit of perfection. Its mission is to create and execute experiences never imagined. Known for its creativity, experiential approach, exquisite attention to detail, culinary innovation, and creation and development of emerging brands, the Society now boasts a diverse portfolio of 10 restaurant brands across 25 locations, a one-of-a-kind food hall, Modern Pour and Vestals premium catering, Bingham House event venue, Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. and the non-profit Furlough Kitchen, with more concepts on the horizon.
Managing Director, Firm Communications