Prospect Partners Recapitalizes Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Centers
Fast-Growing Wedding Services Provider Poised to Accelerate Geographic Expansion
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Prospect Partners, a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, today announced the management-led recapitalization of Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Centers (“Wedgewood”), California’s leading provider of full-service wedding and banquet services.
“The company’s momentum is a credit to John and Bill, who defined and brought to life the concept of a ‘Wedgewood wedding’ – convenient, competitively-priced, hassle-free, and memorable – through their incredible expertise, industry knowledge, and dogged focus on an outstanding guest experience.”
Temecula, Calif.-based Wedgewood was started in 1986 by CEO John Zaruka and his wife, Linda, who operated a single site in Ventura, Calif., until 2002, when son Bill, now President, joined the company. Since that time, Wedgewood has expanded to nearly 25 picturesque Wedgewood-branded locations in California, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada. The weddings take place on attractive golf courses, historical properties and outdoor gardens leased by Wedgewood, which controls all aspects of each venue’s food and beverage operations.
Wedgewood’s all-inclusive banquet model features multi-tiered, professionally planned wedding packages that include invitations, food and entertainment as well as options like floral arrangements, cakes, photo booths, lighting, and ministry services. Over the years, Wedgewood has hosted more than 20,000 unique weddings – 2,300 in 2013 alone – serving over 415,000 guests.
“Wedgewood is a truly unique and rapidly growing company that has built a tremendous reputation in a niche segment of the wedding services market,” said Erik Maurer, a Principal of Prospect Partners. “The company’s momentum is a credit to John and Bill, who defined and brought to life the concept of a ‘Wedgewood wedding’ – convenient, competitively-priced, hassle-free, and memorable – through their incredible expertise, industry knowledge, and dogged focus on an outstanding guest experience.”
Said John Zaruka: “This a very exciting time for Wedgewood. Prospect Partners shares our values, understands and respects the entrepreneurial aspect of our business, and can provide the financial resources and professional strategic support we need as we grow into an even larger company.”
Added Bill Zaruka: “Prospect Partners has successfully helped guide so many other niche companies like ours at key moments in their growth. We look forward to tapping the team’s real-world business acumen in the months and years to come.”
Going forward, Wedgewood’s growth objectives include expanding Wedgewood-branded weddings to more locations in existing and new geographic markets. The company will continue to seek partnerships with property management companies as well as acquisitions of food and beverage operators that provide wedding/banquet services at U.S. venues such as golf courses, hotels, and other unique properties.
Wedgewood becomes the ninth platform company in Prospect Partners’ $200 million third fund, which closed in August, 2010.
About Prospect Partners
Prospect Partners is a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, managing $470 million across three funds. A highly experienced and active investor, Prospect Partners focuses exclusively on management-led leveraged recapitalizations and acquisitions of niche market leaders with revenues typically under $75 million. Since 1998, Prospect Partners has invested opportunistically nationwide in nearly 110 companies in widely diverse niche manufacturing, distribution, and specialty service markets. Based in Chicago, Prospect Partners also has an office in Menlo Park, Calif. http://www.prospect-partners.com