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Volume 24 No. 157


Centerplate officials have announced they will complete a management-led buyout of the sports concessionaire in Q4 '12 in a partnership with investment firm Olympus Partners. The transaction is valued at $551M, said Centerplate President & CEO Des Hague. Centerplate’s senior execs, including Hague, will remain intact after the transaction is completed. Olympus Partners has more than $3B in holdings distributed over more than 50 properties. It owns NPC International, the largest owner of Pizza Hut franchises, with about 1,150 units in 28 states. Hague, who previously held a management position at Pizza Hut, said it was important for Centerplate to align itself with a partner that has experience in the food service industry. There were a few inquiries from competitors in the sports food business, but Centerplate officials were not interested in being acquired by one of those firms, Hague said. Centerplate has deals with 21 major league teams and facilities, including 10 NFL stadiums. In addition, the vendor feeds fans at college football stadiums at Notre Dame, Kansas, South Carolina, Florida, Louisville and Colorado, among other D-I schools. Centerplate and Olympus Partners are both based in Stamford, Conn. Private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. has owned the sports food and retail vendor since January '09.