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Lemonis is Eyeing Purchase of Portillo’s Chain

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May 2, 2014 by   Leave a Comment

Marcus Lemonis

Marcus Lemonis

Marcus Lemonis, CEO and chairman of Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC, said he is interested in purchasing Portillo’s.

The Portillo Restaurant Group said earlier this week it is looking for a potential buyer for the Portillo’s chain, which includes 38 fast casual restaurants selling hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and other fare.

“I’m definitely going to be in the mix,” Lemonis told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s going to be a lot cheaper than the (L.A.) Clippers.”

Lemonis has appeared on reality shows “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Secret Millionaire” and is currently starring in CNBC’s “The Profit.”

Lemonis said he would expect to pay a premium for the hot dog chain because it’s “very profitable,” well run and “fast-casual has kind of become en vogue again.”

Fast casual chains sell food at slightly higher prices than fast food chains and typically make food to order. Chicago-based Potbelly went public in 2013. Other chains, such as Noodles & Co. and Zoe’s Kitchen, are also now public. And Chipotle, which priced its 2006 IPO at $22 a share, now trades above $500 per share.

In 2013, sales at the Portillo’s chain topped $300 million.

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