Ian Ritter is national online editor for GlobeSt.com/RETAIL.

ATLANTA-Private equity firm Crescent Capital Investments is buying the Church’s Chicken chain from AFC Enterprises for $390 million. Church’s operates 283 units and franchises another 953 in 29 states, as well as an additional 300 restaurants in 15 countries.

The deal consists of $383 million in cash and a $7 – million subordinated note. The parties expect to close the acquisition by the end of the year. SunTrust Bank and Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund LP are funding the deal.

“The Church’s Chicken brand fits into our strategy of seeking strong brands that will continue to grow,” says Stockton Croft, Crescent’s director, in a statement. “We’ve had great success in growing other consumer brands and are confident we will do it with Church’s as well.”

Crescent, based here, owns other retail ventures, such as Caribou Coffee Co. and women’s clothing chain Loehmann’s Holdings. AFC also operates such chains as Cinnabon and Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits.

Church’s was founded in 1952 in San Antonio. The chain generated $900 million in sales last year. The restaurants specialize in Southern-style fried chicken.

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