Los Angeles-based private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners announced it has completed the buyout of pizza restaurant chain cici’s Pizza in a transaction valued at more than $90 million.

Levine Leichtman invested $41.5 million in the company. The investment was in the form of subordinated debt, according to a press release. Frost Bank and GE Capital provided $50 million in senior debt. For its investment, Levine Leichtman receives a 28% equity ownership in the company.

cici’s Pizza operates more than 450 restaurants in 21 states, largely in the Southeast and Texas. The restaurant offers a $3.99 buffet of all-you-can-eat salad, pizza, pasta and dessert. The company has annual revenues of approximately $335 million. The company’s founder and majority owner Joe Croce sold his stake in the company to its current management team, led by president Craig Moore.

This is Levine Leichtman’s second investment in the restaurant industry. In 2000, the firm invested in sandwich chain Quizno’s Subs, which has revenues of approximately $46.7 million annually.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners was founded in 1985 by husband-and-wife team Arthur Levine, former president of Westwood One, and Lauren Leichtman. The firm, which has $800 million under management, provides capital for growth financings, restructurings, recapitalizations and management buyouts, making non-control investments in middle market companies based in the Western U.S. with revenues between $50 million and $750 million. Current investments range from $10 million to $75 million. Preferred sectors include aerospace, financial services, food services, industrial equipment, software and medical equipment.

Reprinted with the permission of PrivateEquityCentral.net