MINNEAPOLIS — Restaurant Technologies, Inc. (the “Company”) today announced that the Infrastructure investing business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (“Goldman Sachs”) has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its ownership in the Company to ECP, a leading investor with an almost two decades-long reputation in the renewable and environmental sustainability sector, in partnership with current Restaurant Technologies investor Continental Grain Company.
An additional investment is being made in the Company by Enlightened Hospitality Investments, the strategic investment manager affiliated with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (“USHG”). USHG has a 35-year track record of creating some of New York’s most beloved restaurants including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and Shake Shack, which is now a publicly traded company.
Transaction terms were not disclosed, and closing is subject to customary conditions and approvals.
Accelerating Restaurant Technologies’ Pace of Growth
Founded in 1999, Restaurant Technologies is the leading provider of cooking-oil management and back-of-house hood and exhaust cleaning solutions to more than 32,000 national quick-service and full-service restaurant chains, independent restaurants, grocery delis, hotels, casinos, convenience stores, universities and hospitals. Jeff Kiesel, president and CEO of Restaurant Technologies, will continue to lead the Company along with the existing leadership team in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.
“With more than 20 years of helping restaurants work smarter and safer, Restaurant Technologies has built a foundation to support better, more sustainable business practices in the restaurant and food industry,” said Kiesel. “We look forward to leveraging ECP’s differentiated sustainability and ESG expertise, connections and leadership guidance as we look to our next stage of growth, bringing our solutions to more businesses across the nation.”
“We appreciate the partnership with Goldman Sachs and Continental Grain over the past years, as it helped us significantly invest in our workforce, technology, and markets and boost our growth trajectory. With the support and guidance of our sponsors and board of directors, Restaurant Technologies realized 11% net revenue CAGR, 25% EBITDA CAGR and 17% customer expansion from 2019 through 2021. We also began our ESG journey under Goldman Sachs and Continental Grain ownership, which is foundational to our future efforts,” Kiesel added.
Cedric Lucas, managing director for the Infrastructure investing business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management said, “We are thrilled to have partnered with Jeff and the team to significantly accelerate the pace of growth of the business and transform it into a leader in the sustainable fuel value chain with ESG at the core of its business model. Throughout our ownership, Restaurant Technologies has demonstrated the strength of its infrastructure characteristics and its resiliency during the unprecedented health crisis of the past two years, and we believe it is well positioned for its next phase of growth with ECP and its partners.”
Benefiting from Strong Partners
“ECP has been investing in critical sustainability, renewable energy and environmental infrastructure focused businesses for almost two decades,” said Tyler Reeder, managing partner, ECP. “We have been extremely impressed by Restaurant Technologies’ market leadership in providing kitchen automation solutions to its customers, anchored by its proprietary closed loop oil management system and extensive network of depots across the United States. We view the Company’s multi-faceted ESG priorities—including improving kitchen safety, lowering customer oil and plastics usage and acting as a critical provider of low carbon intensity feedstock to the renewable fuels market—as true competitive advantages, and we look forward to helping Jeff and the Restaurant Technologies team capitalize on the enormous market opportunity ahead.”
Mark Leavitt, co-founder and managing partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments added, “As an investment team, we focus on companies that put people first and drive innovation in the food industry. There are few other businesses that illustrate these characteristics as well as Restaurant Technologies. We’re excited to bring our expertise, relationships and industry insights to the team.”
Harris Williams and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial advisors and Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as legal counsel to the Company. Latham & Watkins, LLP served as legal advisor to ECP and BMO Capital Markets served as financial advisor to ECP.
About Restaurant Technologies
Restaurant Technologies is the leading foodservice industry partner, proudly serving more than 32,000 quick-service and full-service restaurant chains, independent restaurants, grocery delis, hotels, casinos, universities and hospitals nationwide. Restaurant Technologies helps make foodservice operations safer, smarter and more efficient through cooking oil and hood and flue management solutions. The company has a long history of sustainability, working with partners to provide used cooking oil as input into renewable diesel and biodiesel, creating an ESG-friendly process of recycled used cooking oil for its customers. Restaurant Technologies is privately held and operates 41 depots with more than 1,100 employees serving customers across the United States. Visit www.rti-inc.com and follow us on Twitter @RTIoil, LinkedIn or Facebook.
ECP, founded in 2005, is a leading investor across energy transition, electrification and decarbonization infrastructure assets, including power generation, renewables and storage solutions, environmental infrastructure and efficiency & reliability assets facilitating the energy transition. The ECP team, comprised of 61 people with 500 years of collective industry experience, deep expertise and extensive relationships, has consummated more than 60 transactions over the last 10 years, representing more than $45 billion of enterprise value.
About Goldman Sachs Asset Management Infrastructure business
Bringing together traditional and alternative investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides clients around the world with a dedicated partnership and focus on long-term performance. As the primary investing area within Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), we deliver investment and advisory services for the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals, drawing from our deeply connected global network and tailored expert insights, across every region and market—overseeing more than $2 trillion in assets under supervision worldwide as of December 31, 2021. Driven by a passion for our clients’ performance, we seek to build long-term relationships based on conviction, sustainable outcomes, and shared success over time. Goldman Sachs Asset Management invests in the full spectrum of alternatives, including private equity, growth equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure. Established in 2006, the Infrastructure business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management has consistently navigated the evolving infrastructure asset class, having invested approximately $15 billion in infrastructure assets across market cycles since its inception. We partner with experienced operators and management teams across multiple sectors, including digital infrastructure, energy transition, transportation & logistics and essential services. Follow us on LinkedIn.
About Continental Grain
Continental Grain Company (Conti) is a privately-owned global investor, owner and operator of companies with more than 200 years of history across the food and agribusiness spectrum. We seek to create long-term value by applying deep industry knowledge, capital and talent to businesses ranging from established market leaders to promising innovators. Conti brings people, ideas and resources together to build the businesses that will feed the world.
About Enlightened Hospitality Investments
Enlightened Hospitality Investments (“EHI”) is a value-added strategic investment manager formed to leverage the brands, businesses, and team of Union Square Hospitality Group (“USHG”) to identify growth potential and investment opportunities in both internal and outside ventures. EHI partners with portfolio companies to provide strategic direction, operational experience, increased visibility, and access to relationships, resulting in significant value creation for all stakeholders.