Buyout firm Berkshire Partners is in advanced talks to acquire Portillo's Restaurant Group, the largest privately owned restaurant chain in the U.S. Midwest, for close to $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Berkshire Partners has outbid other private equity firms for the Chicago-based restaurant group, the sources said on Tuesday.
The sources, who asked not be identified because the talks were not public, cautioned that negotiations had not yet been finalized. Portillo's hired investment bank Piper Jaffray to shop it to potential buyers, they added.
Berkshire Partners, Portillo's and Piper Jaffray did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Portillo's, known for its hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, has 38 locations in Illinois, Indiana, California and Arizona, according to its website.
Founded in 1963 by Dick Portillo out of a small trailer, Portillo's posted revenue of more than $300 million last year. The company had annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of more than $70 million, the sources said.
Other restaurants owned by Portillo's include Barnelli's Pasta Bowl, Luigi's House and Honey-Jam Cafe.
A sale of Portillo's would come as a slew of restaurant chains try to sell themselves or go public as market valuations for the sector hold strong.