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GE Capital Provides $43MM to Largest El Pollo Loco Franchisee

February 12, 2014, 07:36 AM
Filed Under: Restaurant

GE Capital’s Franchise Finance business announced it provided $43 million in senior credit to WKS Restaurant Corp. The credit facility was used to substantially recapitalize the company. GE Capital serves as administrative agent and GE Capital Markets served as sole lead arranger and bookrunner on the facility.

Headquartered in Costa Mesa, CA, El Pollo Loco is the leading fire-grilled chicken and Mexican quick service restaurant with over 400 locations in five western states. WKS, based in Lakewood, CA, is the largest El Pollo Loco franchisee, with 59 locations in California, Arizona and Utah. WKS also operates 21 Denny’s, 18 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and two Corner Bakery locations in six states. GE Capital has been providing financing to WKS since 2001.

“GE Capital has been with my company throughout the development of my business and the El Pollo Loco brand,” said CEO Roland Spongberg, who founded the company in 1987. “They've continued to support me by helping to recapitalize the company at a pivotal time, so I can continue to grow.”

“We’re focused on helping franchisees of regional brands like El Pollo Loco expand,” said Todd Cortell, a senior vice president at GE Capital, Franchise Finance. “Putting our brand knowledge and the reach of our capital markets business to work for WKS allowed us to bring certainty of execution to a long-time customer, so they can continue to achieve their ambitious growth objectives.”

GE Capital, Franchise Finance is a leading lender for the U.S. franchise finance market via direct sales and portfolio acquisitions. With more than 30 years of experience and over $7 billion in served assets, it provides financing to more than 2,000 customers and 14,000 properties. The business specializes in financing mid-market operators with multiple stores in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Its team of industry experts helps them realize their individualized growth plans. GE Capital, Franchise Finance customers also receive access to its proprietary industry research and cutting-edge digital tools.

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