(Oct. 19) Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners Inc. has purchased Rancho Bernardo, Calif.-based Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. for $198 million, with plans to expand.

“We have a lot of experience in restaurants,” said Sun Capital managing director Steven Liff. “With our capital base and experience, we think we can be a great complement to their management team.”

Garden Fresh was acquired from a partnership of Centre Partners Management LLC, Los Angeles; Fairmont Capital Inc., Yorba Linda, Calif.; and Northwest Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee, which bought the restaurants two years ago for $140 million, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Garden Fresh’s management team retained a minority stake in the company, Liff said.

Garden Fresh operates 97 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants in 15 states, though the majority of the locations are in California, Arizona and Florida. Liff said the chains could open as many as five new locations in the next year, likely in existing markets.