News from Freeman Spogli and our portfolio companies

City Barbeque Partners with Freeman Spogli & Co.

COLUMBUS, OH - June 29, 2016 - City Barbeque, a high-growth, fast-casual restaurant company focused on authentic, "smoker-to-table" barbeque, is proud to announce a new financial partnership with Freeman Spogli & Co., a leading private equity investment firm.

"This is an exciting moment in our company's history," said Rick Malir, founder of City Barbeque. "This partnership allows us to take City Barbeque to new places, give our amazing employees additional opportunities to grow, and bring smiles to new guests and raving fans across the country."

City Barbeque was founded in 1999 by Rick Malir and a team of barbeque enthusiasts who won the American Royal Invitational for the best brisket in the country.  From its humble beginnings in a renovated donut shop in Upper Arlington, Ohio, to its 26th restaurant which recently opened in Durham, North Carolina, City Barbeque has established itself as one of the nation's best barbeque restaurants.

"City Barbeque possesses the exact qualities Freeman Spogli looks for in a restaurant partner," said Brad Brutocao, a Partner at Freeman Spogli. "The company has craveable food, a passionate management team, an impressive culture of hospitality, and a loyal fan base in each of its markets.  We have been interested in City Barbeque for several years, and we are enthusiastic about partnering with Rick and his team during this exciting phase of growth for the company."

"The same friendly teams will continue bringing you the food and service you have come to expect," said Rick Malir.  "Our partnership with Freeman Spogli will allow us to bring City Barbeque to new markets, explore and generate new insights for the company, and leverage their team's deep experience in the restaurant space as we chart our exciting path into the future."

BMO Capital Markets Corp. acted as exclusive financial advisor to City Barbeque.  Ice Miller LLP provided legal counsel to City Barbeque and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provided legal counsel to Freeman Spogli.

About City Barbeque

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, City Barbeque is a high-growth, fast-casual restaurant company focused on authentic, "smoker-to-table" barbeque. The company operates 26 company-owned restaurants across Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina in addition to two legacy franchise locations in Ohio. City Barbeque provides competition-quality barbeque and has more than 100 certified barbeque judges on staff. The company's commitment to quality requires meats to be slow-smoked on site, sandwiches trimmed to order, and sides and desserts made from scratch in the restaurant. Served in a fast-casual format, guests can enjoy their barbeque in a relaxed indoor and outdoor environment. City Barbeque also offers full-service catering for weddings, company picnics, large parties, and other events.

City Barbeque and its management team believe that great barbeque is not just about food, but also about community. The company was founded on the commitment of investing in the communities it serves, which it upholds through numerous partnerships with non-profits and local charities.

About Freeman Spogli & Co.

Freeman Spogli & Co. is a private equity firm dedicated exclusively to investing in and partnering with management in consumer-related and distribution companies in the United States. Since its founding in 1983, Freeman Spogli has invested over $3.7 billion in 55 portfolio companies with aggregate transaction value of approximately $21 billion, and is currently making investments from FS Equity Partners VII, L.P.  Freeman Spogli has offices in Los Angeles and New York. For additional information, visit