"Victory Park has been a great partner for us in every sense of the word. They are collaborative, creative and eager to help us find solutions. I would gladly recommend them to any company looking for a strategic capital provider to help grow their business."
– Al Goldstein, CEO
Avant Credit Corporation
November 18, 2011 — Chicago, IL — VPC Pizza Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company formed by Victory Park Capital (VPC), a Chicago-based distressed private debt and equity investment firm, today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois has granted an order approving the sale of substantially all of Giordano’s Enterprises, Inc.’s assets, business and goodwill out of bankruptcy in a Section 363 purchase. VPC was also granted an order approving the sale of 740 North Rush Street, Giordano’s flagship property in Chicago’s Gold Coast. A closing of the sale is expected on November 30, 2011.
VPC’s winning bid of $52 million is deeply-rooted in Chicago. It combines the operational orientation and strengths of VPC, a firm with a track record of successfully restructuring businesses, and the industry and brand knowledge of Bill and George Apostolou, part of Giordano’s founding family.
Unlike “stalking horse” bids for Giordano’s assets submitted by other groups, VPC’s provided the only buyout offer with the support of members of the management team who recognized the value inherent in maintaining and operating all of Giordano’s tangible equity and intellectual property, including its iconic Giordano’s brand. It is thus well-positioned to export the World’s Greatest Deep Dish Pizza franchise throughout the U.S., while protecting the thousands of valuable and loyal employees the Company and its franchisees have in the Chicagoland area as well as Florida.
Richard Levy, chairman of VPC Pizza Holdings, LLC and managing partner of Victory Park Capital, said, “Giordano’s has been a symbol of Chicago for almost 40 years and has held the title of Greatest Deep Dish Pizza for most of that time. Our solution combines the critical funding and operational expertise needed to make the necessary investments and management changes that will reposition Giordano’s for long-term growth and continue to build on an iconic brand for generations to come.”
Levy added, “As a Chicago-based firm with expertise in providing specialized financing solutions to small and middle market companies, we feel very fortunate that we had the opportunity to invest in such an iconic hometown brand. Our investment will preserve Giordano’s unique brand philosophy, which hundreds of thousands of its customers still trust today, and provide the critical financing necessary to stabilize and grow the business and create jobs.”
Levy added “We have partnered with Bill and George Apostolou to preserve a long tradition of success and know-how in building the preeminent Chicago deep dish pizza Company. Their knowledge of the Company’s operations and adherence to the quality of produce and ingredients that have made Giordano’s so famous are an integral part of making sure our loyal customers receive the same quality they deserve and have come to expect. We appreciate the continued commitment and service of Giordano’s franchisees and employees throughout this process and look forward to working together to grow our brand and make the customer experience even more enjoyable.”