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MEMPHIS-A private-equity firm is acquiring the Back Yard Burgers chain for $38 million and taking the company private. A subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cherokee Advisors is buying the 181-unit chain for $6.50 per share, up from the $5.05 it traded for at the close of the Nasdaq on Friday.

The parties expect to complete the transaction during this year’s third quarter. “Back Yard Burgers represents a rare combination of niche status in QSR along with a strong regional growth opportunity,” said Steve Lynn, chief executive officer of Cherokee subsidiary BBAC LLC, in a statement.

Most of locally based Back Yard Burgers’ restaurants are located throughout the Southeast. In an interview with GSR earlier this year, Michael Lattie, the chain’s chief executive, said the company’s strategy was growth in existing markets.

Lynn is a former chairman and chief executive of the Shoney’s and Sonic Drive-In chains. The firm also has J. Michael McCarthy, a former Waffle House executive.

This is not the first dealing between Cherokee Advisors and Back Yard Burgers. Back Yard’s management rejected numerous offers last year from Cherokee to acquire the company, the latest in August, when it rejected a $6.10-per-share proposal.

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