Athens, Ga. and New York City — Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division has agreed to purchase a “significant stake” in Athens-based Zaxby’s, with plans to grow the quick-service restaurant chain’s footprint into new markets. Terms of the financing were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close by the end of 2020. Zaxby’s, known for its chicken fingers, wings and signature sauces, has more than 900 locations in 17 states, primarily in the Southeast. Zaxby’s is a privately held company that childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley founded in Statesboro, Georgia, in 1990. The founders hope the investment from Goldman Sachs will grow the regional chain into a national brand.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Stephens Inc. served as financial advisors to Zaxby’s. King & Spalding LLP and Fortson, Bentley and Griffin P.A. served as legal advisors to Zaxby’s.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal advisor and Goldman Sachs served as financial advisor to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking.