Originally created 05/15/98

Restaurant group selling Quincy's steakhouses

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Advantica Restaurant Group Inc. announced Thursday it plans to sell its Quincy's Family Steakhouse division for $85.7 million to an Atlanta-based acquisition firm.

Buckley Acquisition Corp. will pay $81.5 million in cash for the 125-store chain and assume $4.2 million in leases and other liabilities. The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks.

"Quincy's is not a real good strategic fit for our company," Advantica spokesman Larry Gosnell said. "We're going to focus on family dining and specialty chicken because that's where most of our restaurants are."

This came as Advantica announced that it lost $43 million, or $1.08 per share, in the first quarter of 1998. This compares with a $51.7 million loss in the same quarter last year by its predecessor, Flagstar Cos. Inc.

Advantica's first-quarter revenue also dropped to $473.8 million from $538.2 million in the year-ago quarter.

Last year's first-quarter per-share amount was not provided because Advantica issued new shares when it emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization, the company said.

Flagstar changed its name to Advantica after emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in January.

Advantica also owns the Denny's, Carrows, Coco's and El Pollo Loco chains. The company also was the largest franchisee of the Hardee's fast-food chain, but sold all of its holdings in April to CKE Restaurants Inc., for $427 million.

Advantica had closed 71 underperforming Quincy's locations since the beginning of last year, including its five Charleston-area restaurants.

Quincy's first-quarter revenue of $49.7 million was down 22 percent from the year-ago quarter's $64.1 million, Advantica said Thursday. Same-store sales also fell 9.5 percent in this year's first quarter from the year-ago period.

As part of the Quincy's deal, Buckley Acquisition will continue to employ all the division's 8,000 workers. Quincy's has stores in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio.

Buckley's chairman, Greg Buckley, would not discuss plans for the Quincy's chain. Buckley was president of Quincy's from 1993-95 and now heads a group of Atlanta restaurants.

"I like the fact that Quincy's is a wholly-owned chain, which makes it very easy to make modifications to the concept across the entire system rapidly," Buckley said. "It's in very good locations with a strong management team that's been there a long time."

Quincy's will operate as a sister company to the Atlanta restaurant portfolio, which includes Mick's, a casual dining chain with 11 locations, and The Peasant, an upscale concept with eight locations.


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