SOURCE: Martin Capital

August 09, 2005 11:53 ET

Martin Capital Partners With OSMAR Corporation to Form Banner Buffets, LLC to Operate and Grow Whistle Junction Concept

Finance and Development Firm Completes $30 Million Private Equity Acquisition of 16 EACO Corporation Restaurants in Florida

CLAYTON, GA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 9, 2005 -- Martin Capital, LLC, a finance and development firm specializing in innovative growth solutions for multi-unit retail operators, has partnered with OSMAR Corporation to form Banner Buffets, LLC. As a key element in this joint venture, Martin Capital coordinated the acquisition of 16 buffet restaurants from EACO Corporation, a former Ryan's Steakhouse franchisee.

Banner Buffets, a Delaware partnership, will leverage the expertise and resources of Martin Capital -- including site selection and build-to-suit real estate financing and development -- to relaunch and grow the Whistle Junction concept. The first phase of the effort will address optimization of current operations. This work will help provide the momentum to continue aggressive development of the Whistle Junction brand -- from a new building prototype to the remodeling of 10 locations. In 2006, Banner Buffets will add more units in key Florida markets and develop a franchise system. OSMAR Corporation will provide restaurant management expertise to help ensure profitable operations for all locations.

"We are excited about building the Whistle Junction brand through our involvement with Banner Buffets," said Ashley Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Capital. "Whistle Junction brings a new level of variety, quality, and service to Florida -- the perfect market for family buffet concepts. After many years of working closely with restaurant operators, it's a natural next step to get more closely involved with the industry."

This acquisition builds on Martin Capital's strong history by leveraging a combination of sale/leaseback and private equity funding to plot a steady course for growth. According to Martin, "This milestone deal proves that we can leverage our strengths to partner with operators and provide creative growth solutions. We look forward to forging new partnerships under this model, as we fulfill our commitment to delivering value beyond capital to our clients and investors."

About Martin Capital

Martin Capital is a finance, development, and investment company specializing in innovative growth solutions for multi-unit retail operators. The company's client portfolio includes Back Yard Burgers, Burger King, Golden Corral, Johnny Carino's Italian, Waffle House, Whistle Junction, and Zaxby's. For more information, please visit www.martincap.com or call (706) 782-4302.

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