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The Cheesecake Shop sold to Aussie investment firm

The Cheesecake Shop is to have new owners. Aussie based investment River Capital has entered into an agreement to acquire The Cheesecake Shop Group (TCS) for an undisclosed amount from existing owners PAG Asia Capital.

The existing TCS management team has retained a shareholding in the business, ensuring a smooth transition and continuity of operation.

Josh Ludski, manager – direct investment at River Capital, revealed complementary acquisitions are part of the strategy to grow the business.

River Capital’s active involvement will see Ludski and executive director Jim Craig join the TCS board, with ex-Domino’s Pizza executive Andrew Rennie joining as chair and an independent investor.

Ludski said “River Capital and Andrew have a strong relationship spanning the last decade. We’re thrilled to have someone of Andrew’s standing along for this journey with us.

“Over its 25 year history of investing River Capital has developed deep expertise in a number of sectors of which QSR franchising is one, and River Capital seeks to partner with industry experts to invest up to $100m of equity into established businesses that we believe we can own over the long term,” he said.

River Capital’s investing experience in franchising began in the early 2000s as large shareholders of Brumby’s prior to the acquisition by RFG. The firm has also invested in global concepts such as Domino’s and KFC.

Ludski told Inside Franchise Business Executive, “River Capital and management are committed first and foremost to the long term success of TCS franchisees, and are excited about supporting franchisees to achieve their long term ambitions.

“River Capital has seen first hand the positive impact that successful franchise systems can have on the lives of franchisees. TCS has demonstrated this impact over 30 years.”

TCS operates more than 220 stores across Australia and New Zealand.

Ludski said PAG had left TCS in “excellent shape, with a strong brand, stable management team and successful franchisees”.

Asset management firm PAG bought TCS in 2017 and has owned Red Rooster, Oporto and Chicken Treat parent Craveable Brands since 2019.

River Capital was advised on the transaction by Pitcher Partners and Gilbert & Tobin, while Intrinsic Partners, Ernst & Young and Corrs Chambers Westgarth, advised PAG,

This story originally appeared in our sister publication, Inside Franchise Business Executive.

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