US-based private investment firm High Bluff Capital Partners will soon be assuming the ownership of 81 Hardee’s restaurant locations.

The investment company has emerged as the winner of a court-approved auction process for acquiring Summit Restaurant Group’s assets and related entities.

Summit, a former operator of Hardee’s restaurants across different states in the US, filed voluntary proceedings under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court of the District of Colorado, earlier in May.

The sale hearing of this Chapter 11 case is scheduled to take place on 18 July.

The deal is anticipated to complete in August.

Hardee’s will join High Bluff’s existing portfolio of previously acquired restaurants, including Quiznos and Taco Del Mar in 2018 and Church’s Texas Chicken in 2021.

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High Bluff Capital Partners founder Anand Gowda said: “Hardee’s is a regionally strong brand, known for its quality, hand-crafted menu.

“These restaurants in many cases have served as central neighbourhood hubs, where people and families come to gather and connect.”

The latest transaction is in line with High Bluff’s strategy of investing in consumer-facing brands that have significant growth and value creation opportunities.

Once the transaction is complete, all the operations related to the acquired Hardee’s locations will be managed by Dave Dixon, an experienced quick service restaurant (QSR) sector expert.

Dixon, who has worked with various restaurants brands such as Burger King, Church’s Chicken, Culver’s, Hardee’s, KFC, Popeyes, and Slim Chickens, also has an extensive experience of driving sales and growing earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA).

High Bluff Capital Partners principal Coady Smith said: “Over the next few years, we plan to continue to aggressively pursue new acquisitions, with a goal of growing our platform to six to ten restaurant concepts with $75m to $100m of EBITDA.”

Hardee’s is a subsidiary of Tennessee-based company CKE Restaurants Holdings, which also owns and operates Carl’s Jr brand.

Together, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants have over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants across 44 states, US territories as well as 43 other countries.