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Charlotte firm set to buy Hooters

Jan 20, 2011 9:24:00 AM - thestate.com

A Charlotte private equity firm appears set to win a battle to buy the Hooters restaurant chain, known for its provocatively dressed waitresses, according to court documents.

Chanticleer Holdings LLC will succeed in its last-minute bid to buy Hooters of America Inc., beating out competitor Wellspring Capital Management LLC, a company that spent nearly a year going through a formal bidding process. In 2006, Hooters granted Chanticleer a “right of first refusal” for a sale in exchange for a $5 million loan.

The sales agreement, including the amount Chanticleer will pay for Hooters, has been sealed by the courts.

The sale is part of efforts to settle the estate of the late Hooters CEO Bob Brooks, who built the company from a small chain to an internationally recognizable brand. Brooks died in Myrtle Beach in 2006 and the sale is being administered by the estate’s five personal representatives, also known as executors.

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