The 50-unit fast-casual Daphne’s California Greek chain has been quietly acquired by Chicago-based investment firm Victory Park Capital Advisors, the company confirmed Friday.
Terms of the deal, which occurred earlier this year, were not disclosed, and officials with Victory Park Capital, or VPC, declined to comment.
The acquisition was confirmed by Dave Wolfgram, who has been named chief executive officer of Daphne’s.
Daphne’s, which has restaurants in California and Colorado, was sold by Wreath Equity LLC, an investment firm led by Bill Trefethen, who had also served as the chain’s chief executive. Trefethen bought the Carlsbad, Calif.-based chain — which was then called Daphne’s Greek Café — out of bankruptcy in August 2010.
Over the next two years, he led a revamp of the brand, transforming it into a broader California-meets-Mediterranean concept with a healthy lifestyle focus, which Trefethen believed would have more national appeal.
Trefethen changed the name to Daphne’s California Greek and relaunched the chain’s franchising program. He declined to comment on the transaction.
According to its website, VPC is known for direct lending, small business loans and investment in distressed companies. Typical investments are between $5 million to $100 million.
The firm lists Chicago-based stuffed pizza concept Giordano’s and Jamba Juice as among its investments.
Wolfgram joins Daphne’s after serving as chief executive of the Black Angus Steakhouse chain for less than a year. He served previously as chief executive of Andre Boudin Bakeries Inc.
He also founded Go Roma Italian Kitchen, which was acquired by Boudin parent GESD Capital Partners LLC and later sold. Wolfgram is also known as the creator of the Corner Bakery Café and Maggiano’s Little Italy brands while he was with Chicago-based multi-concept operator Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc.
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