UPDATE 1-Blackstone shows appetite for New Zealand food group

Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:11am GMT
 

* First deal for Blackstone outside real estate in the region

* Antares chain had sales of about NZ$150 million

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Global private equity giant Blackstone Group said it will acquire New Zealand fast food chain Antares Restaurant Group, in its first deal in Australia or New Zealand outside the real estate sector.

Blackstone bought the Antares chain, which operates 75 Burger King restaurants, from Australian private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but analysts said it was believed to be in the region of NZ$150 million ($120 million). When Anchorage bought the chain in 2009, it had revenues of NZ$150 million and 71 stores.

The deal is the second major fast-food chain sale this year. In June, Australian private equity firm Archer Capital purchased Quick Service Restaurant Holdings, the biggest Australian-owned fast food operator, for A$450 million ($474 million), from Quadrant.

The Blackstone deal is the latest in a flurry of so-called secondary buyout deals, or sales from one buyout firm to another, as private-equity firms come under pressure to exit investments in a weak market for initial public offerings.

Earlier this year, Blackstone snapped up Centro Properties's U.S. shopping malls for US$9.4 billion and Valad Property Group in a deal valuing Valad at A$207 million.

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