Sovereign Buys Lone Star Properties for $69M

Princeton, N.J.-based Sovereign Investment Co. has closed on the acquisition of a portfolio of properties from Lone Star Funds, which is leasing them back for 15 years, which extension options.  All together, Sovereign paid $69 million for a group of Lone Star Steakhouses and Texas Land & Cattle restaurants in 19 states. Dallas-based Lone Star Funds took Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, a casual dining steakhouse chain, private in December 2006. The sale-leaseback deal, according to Sovereign, forms part of the investors’ financing strategy to pay for the privatization.  Though they both derived their names from the nickname of the state of Texas, Lone Star Funds was unaffiliated with the restaurant chain–which started in North Carolina in the 1980s–before the privatization. Since Lone Star’s founding in 1995, the principals of the company have organized private equity funds totaling more than $13.3 billion to invest in various kinds of assets, including real estate. Since 2004, Sovereign has invested more than $850 million in net-leased properties nationwide. In addition to this venture with Lone Star, Sovereign has recently completed sale-leaseback transactions with private equity firms J. S. Chapman and Sun Capital Partners Inc.