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BlackBern Partners Acquires 50 Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurants To Launch New QSR Platform With Jon Blob

BlackBern Partners LLC has partnered with existing management and CEO Jon Blob to form Value Foodservice LLC (“VFS”). Earlier this week, VFS completed its acquisition of 50 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. VFS plans to build a quick-service restaurant (“QSR”) business with several hundred units.
Mr. Blob has nearly twenty-years of experience in the restaurant industry. As a QSR owner/operator, he has consistently been ranked as a top-tier franchisee. VFS benefits from his broad experience in restaurant investing, development and operations.
Jon Blob commented, “We take a people-first approach to how we think about the restaurant business. This starts with our team members. Our first priority is to make sure our team members are well supported, feel respected and see opportunities for professional growth. We believe that if we take care of our team members and give them the tools to succeed, they will take care of our customers. I am thrilled to be working with KFC, Yum! Brands, and the VFS management team, to deliver an outstanding customer experience.”
Jason Young, Partner at BlackBern added, “We are excited to be working with Jon, KFC and Yum! Brands to build our QSR franchisee business. We think there is considerable value in building substantial scale QSR systems. That value should be reflected in more opportunities for our team members, a better customer experience, and a faster growing base of well-maintained restaurants. VFS is capitalized to support this growth both with newly built restaurants and through additional unit acquisitions. We are particularly excited about the future of working with Yum! Brands.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Jon, Jason and the BlackBern and VFS teams to the KFC and Yum! Brands family,” said Brian Cahoe, Chief Development Officer for KFC U.S. “BlackBern’s commitment to growth through this acquisition and its KFC development agreement reinforces the strength of our franchising opportunity. We are confident their people-first approach, strong investment capabilities and personal connection to the brand will yield tremendous success and continued growth going forward.”

M2O Private Fund Advisors (“M2O”) served as placement agent, while Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, PA served as legal advisor to Astara. Debt capital was provided by KeyBank.

About Astara Capital Partners
Astara Capital Partners is an integrated team of investors and operators that pursues a valueand special-situations investment strategy in the middle market. The firm invests in a handful of sectors where it has deep experience, including packaging and converting, food, building products, forest products, and industrial manufacturing, distribution and services. Astara selects companies in those industries that are undergoing significant transformation and with the goal of building sustainable value and positioning them for long-term success.

About Headway Capital Partners
Headway Capital Partners is a London based private equity firm with advised funds of over €900 million. Headway provides bespoke liquidity and capital solutions to private equity GPs and managers, investing globally in a full range of secondary and co-investment transactions, with a focus on small to mid-size secondary direct, GP-led, and independent sponsor transactions in Europe and North America.