US-based venture capital firm J.H. Whitney Capital Partners has purchased a majority stake in casual restaurant chain Firebirds International (Firebirds Wood Fired Grill) from Angelo Gordon for an undisclosed value.

As the transaction is complete, Firebirds plans to accelerate its growth across the country with support from J.H. Whitney. The company will continue Firebirds CEO Mark Eason in his current role.

Eason said: “Firebirds’ guest-first culture and various industry recognitions are reflective of our continuous investment in our team members and customers.

“J.H. Whitney’s willingness to invest in the long-term success of our brand and their alignment with our core values make them the ideal partner to help us execute our growth strategy.

“We are very pleased to have J.H. Whitney’s experience, resources and a team of professionals supporting Firebirds.”

“J.H. Whitney’s willingness to invest in the long-term success of our brand and their alignment with our core values make them the ideal partner to help us execute our growth strategy.”

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill currently operates 48 locations across the US offering wood-fired entrees infused made using various flavours, fresh herbs and spices.

Menus offered by the restaurant chain include seasoned wood-grilled steaks, grilled seafood, gourmet burgers and oversized salads, along with seasonal cocktails and fine wine.

J.H. Whitney senior managing director Paul R Vigano said: “Firebirds is a unique brand that has a distinguished and proven track record of profitability and growth, and is run by a management team that is one of the most dynamic in the industry.

“We are excited to partner with Mark and the company’s talented management team to help accelerate the company’s growth.”

NorthPoint Advisors acted as financial adviser to Firebirds, and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal adviser to J.H. Whitney.