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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023

Report: Real Mex Seeks Buyer

Real Mex Restaurants Inc.’s owners have reportedly hired investment bank Piper Jaffray Cos. to find a buyer for the chain operator.

Real Mex has been majority-owned by a partnership of Tennenbaum Capital Partners in Santa Monica and Z Capital Partners in New York since 2012, a year after a bankruptcy filing.

The chain’s second bankruptcy filing in seven years could precede a transaction, the report said.

The Cypress-based chain had $263 million in systemwide sales and 92 locations as of last year. It’s trimmed its restaurant count by about a third from 2016.

The chains run by Real Mex – a roster than includes El Torito, Chevy’s and Acapulco Restaurant y Cantino – have faced various woes since the Great Recession.

It’s cycled through senior leadership in recent years, including top finance and legal officers, and well as the chief executive’s post.

Current Chief Executive Bryan Lockwood was named to the role in 2015.

Bloomberg reported last week that Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray had been retained to seek a buyer.

– Paul Hughes

Hughes is a staff reporter for the Orange County Business Journal, a sister publication of the Los Angeles Business Journal.

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