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GREENWICH, Conn. – Connecticut-based private equity firm Catterton Partners has purchased a controlling stake in franchise chain Noodles & Co. of Colorado.The private equity firm expects that Noodles' Kevin Ruddy will continue to be chief executive officer, president and chairman.
Catterton manages over $2.5 billion of equity in franchisor Baja Fresh Mexican Grill and company-owned P.F. Chang's China Bistro. Formed in 1995, Noodles & Co. has grown to 255 casual restaurants. 43 are franchised.
Neither company would comment on how much Catterton paid for the acquisition.
The chain's franchise owner-operators are uncertain about how the acquisition will affect them.
But Noodles' director of communications Jill Preston says that the infusion of cash is helpful for expansion. “This will help ramp up our franchise outreach effort,” says Preston, referring to the company's desire to find new franchisees. She reminds Blue MauMau that the chain has seen a 15% growth in locations per year.