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Fat Tuesday secures new credit facility from Comvest

Illustration of a pair of cupped hands holding a pile of money, with some falling through

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fat Tuesday, which claims to be the largest and fastest growing off-premise frozen alcoholic beverage chain in the U.S., closed a new senior secured credit facility provided by direct lender Comvest Credit Partners.

Why it matters: Companies, including those in consumer products and retail, are increasingly turning to direct lenders for their financing needs.

Details: The company declined to comment on the terms of the transaction, but Comvest typically provides credit facilities of between $25 million and $250 million for middle-market companies with at least $20 million in revenue and $7.5 million in EBITDA.

  • The facility refinances existing debt and provides additional proceeds, which will be invested in accelerating growth.
  • Investment bank Houlihan Lokey provided financial advice to the frozen cocktail chain.

What they're saying: "Having finished 2021 strongly with over 30% same store sales growth on a two-year basis, we have secured additional, substantial capital to accelerate new unit expansion across the country and in select international locations," said Alex Macedo, Fat Tuesday's CEO, in a statement.

  • Macedo brings some serious management chops to the role: he previously served as global president of coffee chain Tim Hortons and president of Burger King.

Flashback: PE firm Garnett Station Partners acquired New Orleans-based Fat Tuesday just over a year ago from David Briggs, who founded the business in 1983.

Of note: Garnett has a history of investing in restaurant concepts, selling bar and grill Twin Peaks to Fat Brands for $300 million last year.

By the numbers: The company, which includes New Orleans Original Daiquiris, has 84 locations in all.

  • Of those, 61 are company owned while 23 are franchised.
  • This year alone the chain plans to add 25 locations.

What's next: Fat Tuesday is adding new locations in places such as Savannah, Ga., Las Vegas and Cancun, Mexico, as well as in Florida, Macedo tells Axios.

  • Though the chain has focused on only selling alcoholic beverages to-go, it plans to open locations that also serve food early next year, he said.
  • It could also eye expansion in top tourist destinations in Europe and Southeast Asia via master franchisees.
  • The company could ultimately triple in size over the next two years, Macedo says.
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