Burke says Citizens’ acquisition opens up breadth of services


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In an interview with the Restaurant Finance Monitor, Trinity Capital Managing Director revealed how Citizens Bank’s acquisition of his firm materialized. 

“I’ve had a great 20-year relationship with Armando Pedroza,” he said of Citizens managing director of the franchise finance group there. Pedroza introduced Burke to some of his bank colleagues at Trinity’s annual restaurant operator conference. “I guess they liked what they heard and they saw. They called me and asked if I had ever considered a partner. I said, ‘no, I haven’t, but keep talking.’ The dialogue continued and got serious.”

Trinity Capital was founded in 2000 by Burke. Since that time, the firm has closed more than 500 transactions, focusing on providing financial advice to middle-market businesses on debt restructuring, leveraged and management buyouts, and private placements of debt and equity.

For Burke and his team at Trinity, becoming part of one of the U.S.’ largest banks opens up all sorts of services they can offer their restaurant clients, as well as “colleagues at Citizen’s to collaborate with in order to do new business,” said Burke. “We can now issue bonds, offer Term B financings—a whole suite of services we weren’t able to before.”

He also said when advising restaurant clients, he will still be working with other banks to finance them. “If we run a financing process, we will still be independent. And there is collegiality between the leaders of the finance community,” who work together to finance larger transactions. 

“I’m very energized by this,” said Burke. “It’s been fun thinking about all the avenues of collaboration.”

In the past few years, Trinity has also been the recipient of Franchise Times magazine’s Dealmakers of the Year Award for excellence in M&A. Franchise Times is the sister publication of the Restaurant Finance Monitor.

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