Court Square Capital Partners has made an investment in Five Star Parks & Attractions, a developer and operator of large-format family entertainment centers.
Five Star operates 20 family entertainment centers (FEC) that provide a mix of indoor-only and indoor-outdoor activities including go-karts, arcades, bowling, thrill rides, laser tag, and mini golf. According to Five Star, over the past two years, the company has become the largest privately-owned FEC operator in the United States with locations across the Southeast and Midwest.
Five Star’s company-owned brand names include The Track Family Fun Parks, Celebration Station, Xtreme, Speed Zone, LazerPort, Malibu Jack’s, and Craig’s Cruisers. The company, led by CEO John Dunlap, is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.
Existing shareholders of Five Star, which include Fruition Partners, Taubman Capital, and management, will remain minority investors in the company in partnership with Court Square.
“We are impressed by the unique platform Five Star has created and are excited to partner with John Dunlap and the management team to drive further value creation and help the company achieve its growth potential,” said Joseph Silvestri, a co-founder and managing partner at Court Square. “Five Star has many of the characteristics we look for when partnering with founders, families, and manager-owners.”
“This partnership strongly positions Five Star to further deliver on our growth plans and continue executing on our goal of building safe and accessible family entertainment centers throughout the US,” said Mr. Dunlap. “The Five Star team is thrilled to partner with Court Square given their operating knowledge and extensive experience working with founder and management-owned businesses.”
New York City-based Court Square invests in middle-market companies that have enterprise values of $150 million to $1.5 billion. Sectors of interest include industrial, business services, healthcare, and tech and telecom sectors. Since the firm’s founding in 1979, Court Square has completed over 245 platform investments.
“We are excited to continue executing the Five Star M&A and greenfield (new build locations) strategy while driving meaningful outcomes for the brands we partner with at Five Star. With Court Square’s help, Five Star’s position as the market leader providing the best guest experience in the FEC industry will only continue to improve,” said Jay Coughlon, the managing partner of Fruition.
Fruition invests in lower middle-market companies that have EBITDA of $2 million to $20 million. Typical transaction types include majority recapitalizations and minority growth investments with board representation. Denver-headquartered Fruition was founded in 2019 by former Lariat Partners’ professionals Jay Coughlon, Mac Hampden, and Jason Urband.
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