Charlotte-based private equity firm Axum Capital Partners announced Monday it has acquired a controlling interest in Nashville, Tenn.-based burger chain Back Yard Burgers.
Axum, founded by former Carolina Panthers receiver Muhsin Muhammad with three partners, said it plans to accelerate growth of the 30-year-old fast-causal burger chain. Back Yard Burgers has about 32 franchised and 23 company-owned restaurants in 11 states, including North Carolina, according to a press release.
Muhammad, a former Pro Bowl receiver known as “Moose,” began building Axum in 2008 with Denis Ackah-Yensu, formerly of McColl Partners, a Charlotte investment bank that provided merger advice to midsized companies.
Muhammad was still playing football at the time and would head to business meetings after practice, he has said.
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Monday’s acquisition adds another restaurant investment to Axum’s portfolio, which includes Wild Wing Cafe, a restaurant chain and sports bar in which Axum acquired controlling interest in 2012.
Last year, Wild Wing announced it was relocating its corporate headquarters from Charleston to Charlotte, a move that brought the restaurant chain closer to Axum.