Sentinel Capital Buys Newk's Eatery


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The 67-unit Newk's Eatery is the very definition of a growth brand. Sentinel Capital is banking on it.

The New York-based private equity firm said this morning that it has purchased Newk's for an undisclosed sum. Newk's is a highly-regarded, up-and-coming concept based in Jackson, Mississippi that sells a selection of sandwiches, salads and pizzas, and has a strong management team led by co-founder and CEO Chris Newcomb. Most of its units are in the Southeast.

"Sentinel is a perfect strategic partner whose deep experience and success in supporting high growth restaurant and franchising businesses will allow Newk's to realize its full potential," Newcomb said in a statement.

The deal is only the latest in a spate of acquisitions and sales by Sentinel, which in the past two years has sold Massage Envy to Roark Capital, bought Huddle House, sold a large Pizza Hut franchisee in Southern California Pizza and, this year, bought Checkers.

In Newk's, Sentinel has another growth brand. James Coady, a partner at Sentinel, said in a statement that the brand is "well positioned for accelerating its growth and is very well aligned with the emerging fast casual trend in the restaurant industry."

Newk's was started in 2004 as a locally owned sandwich shop started by the same people who founded McAlister's Deli. The deal with Sentinel should provide the chain with the resources to ramp up its growth, similar to what Sentinel did with Massage Envy before selling that franchise in 2012.

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