Recent News and Announcements from Centre Partners

January 11, 2005

Centre Partners to Acquire Majority Interest in Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp.

Frank Guidara Named CEO

BOSTON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Centre Partners, a leading middle market private equity firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles, whereby Centre Partners will acquire a controlling interest in the company. Aaron Spencer, the company’s Founder and Chairman, as well as the senior members of the Uno management team, will maintain significant ownership. In addition, Uno and Centre Partners jointly announced that Frank Guidara will join Uno as CEO concurrent with the closing of the transaction. Mr. Guidara is presently President and CEO of Au Bon Pain. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Uno is a major operator and franchisor of full-service, casual dining restaurants and has system wide revenues of nearly $500 million. Uno serves a broad variety of fresh and flavorful menu items, including its signature Chicago-style deep dish pizza, which Uno invented in 1943, as well as ribs, steak, seafood, pasta, salads, chicken and fajitas. There are more than 200 Uno Chicago Grill restaurants, located in 32 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and select international cities. Uno also operates a rapidly growing consumer foods division.

“I have spent a lifetime building Uno into a strong restaurant business, and I look forward to the next stage of the company’s growth and development,” Mr. Spencer stated. “I am very excited to bring an experienced private investor like Centre Partners on board to help lead the company through the next phase of its evolution.”

Mr. Guidara said, “I am excited to be leading a great organization with which I have been associated as a board member for several years. Uno has a rich history, a great brand name and an excellent management team.”

“Frank has the industry expertise and personal knowledge of Uno to advance our business, and we are very excited to have him as our new CEO,” Mr. Spencer said.

“In Uno we are partnering with an excellent management team in a business with an outstanding brand, leadership in its markets, predictability and attractive growth prospects. Uno is a restaurant icon, with its rich heritage, loyal customer base and unique, high quality menu offerings,” said David Blatte, Managing Director at Centre Partners. “We are investing in a storied, time-tested concept that we will continue to build into a leading national restaurant chain, franchise organization and food manufacturer.”

Centre Partners has deep experience investing in consumer businesses, and the firm has invested in such restaurants as Garden Fresh Restaurant Group, which operates Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation, The Johnny Rockets Group and Buca di Beppo.

“We have been serving our customers for well over 50 years, and this transaction will allow us to continue to build our business for the long term,” added Mr. Spencer.

Frank Guidara

Mr. Guidara, who has been a member of Uno’s Board of Directors since 2001, has agreed to join Uno as CEO after spending five years as CEO of Au Bon Pain. Prior to that he was President and CEO of Wolfgang Puck Food Co., and he also spent 10 years as President of Operations at New York based Restaurant Associates.

About Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation

Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp. currently has more than 200 company-owned and franchised full service units located in 32 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and select international cities. Uno offers a diverse selection of high quality, fresh and flavorful menu items prepared daily in its restaurants and served in a friendly atmosphere. Uno’s menu includes its signature Chicago-style, deep dish pizza, as well as ribs, steak, seafood, pasta, salads, chicken and fajitas. The company also operates a rapidly growing consumer foods division, which supplies airlines, movie theaters, hotels and supermark

Back to News List