Investment firm buys Krystal burger chain

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Southern small burger chain Krystal has been purchased by private investment firm Argonne Capital Group LLC for an undisclosed amount.

The Chattanooga-based fast-food restaurant company announced the deal on Thursday after saying last year it was in the market for a buyer.

The 80-year-old Krystal Co. owns and franchises a total of 360 restaurants in 11 southern states and has more than 6,000 employees. Port Royal Holdings purchased the company out of bankruptcy in 1997. Krystal expanded to more than 420 stores in 2002 but has since had closings and layoffs.

Krystal President and CEO Fred Exum said in a statement that Argonne provides a foundation for Krystal to continue its expansion. Atlanta-based Argonne owns a portfolio of restaurants.

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