California Pizza Kitchen founders Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield announced today their plan to launch a new fast casual pizza concept as one of the initial portfolio investments of Flax and Rosenfield Capital Partners, their recently founded firm.
The pair first met as federal prosecutors and subsequently formed their own law partnership in Beverly Hills, Calif. They led CPK for 26 years, and the company recently went private in a $470 million transaction.
According to a news release, Flax and Rosenfield are now creating and operating their own brands and providing emerging and established brands with advisory services in conjunction with making select equity alliances and providing capital investment. Flax and Rosenfield Capital Partners will also be acquiring and developing real estate for their own portfolio.
"The current environment allows us the perfect opportunity to develop our own unique fast casual pizza concept, and we look forward to revolutionizing the fast casual industry with our new restaurants," Rosenfield said. "Furthermore, our many years of experience operating in various business formations within the restaurant industry has given us the distinct ability to advise others on defining the best ways to structure companies and capitalize on opportunity. As leaders of a global restaurant brand, over time we built special relationships and gained knowledge around the world that will allow our new company to offer clients and strategic partners unique and unmatched insight into every corner of the business."
Joining Flax and Rosenfield in this venture are longtime colleagues Peter Gillette and Steve Rich.
Gillette brings more than 20 years of primary experience in operations, concept development and both international and domestic franchising. He is credited with managing and growing the multi-million dollar franchise systems in both domestic and international markets for CPK. Gillette obtained his MBA degree from Pepperdine University.
Throughout his 25-year career, Rich has specialized in all aspects of real estate development, including holding executive positions with The Taubman Company and Simon Property Group. As a Senior Vice President at CPK, where he met Flax and Rosenfield, Rich oversaw and directed the growth and expansion of the brand for several years. Rich holds a Juris Doctor degree from Michigan State University College of Law.
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