ATLANTA, July 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Argonne Capital Group, LLC announced the completion of two recapitalizations and added to its executive ranks as the firm institutionalizes and seeks to propel future growth.

Argonne Capital Group, LLC (“Argonne”) completed a recapitalization of National Fitness Partners (“NFP”), an Argonne portfolio company since 2016 that is now one of the largest franchisees of Planet Fitness. Separately, Argonne completed a recapitalization of Sunshine Restaurant Partners (“SRP”), an Argonne portfolio company since 2007 and the master licensee for IHOP for the entire state of Florida and southern Georgia.  In connection with both the SRP transaction and the NFP transaction, affiliates of Argonne will continue to manage the respective SRP and NFP vehicles. On a combined basis, these two transactions represented more than $1 billion in new equity commitments. 

“We are excited to have closed two transformational deals, especially amid challenging market conditions,” said Michael Klump, Founder and Chairman of Argonne. “These transactions delivered successful outcomes for existing investors while enabling Argonne, our management teams and a new consortium of investors to benefit from the continued growth of the iconic IHOP and Planet Fitness brands.”   

Since its founding in 2003, Argonne has invested over $2 billion of equity capital in a variety of small-to-medium sized companies across a diverse range of industries, including restaurants, fitness, automotive services, commercial landscaping and equipment dealerships. Unlike some peers that follow the traditional private equity fund model, Argonne typically capitalizes its deals independently in order to provide ultimate flexibility on the size, terms, deal structure and duration for each investment — features which have provided Argonne with a competitive advantage when acquiring closely-held or family-owned companies.

Today, Argonne’s portfolio of companies generates $1.8 billion in annual sales and operates in iconic brands such as IHOP, Planet Fitness and John Deere. 

Argonne also recently promoted Bill Weimar to President, hired former Fir Tree Partners executive Ben Ghriskey as Managing Director and Head of Business Development, and hired former State Street Vice President Smruti Shah as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. The firm also elevated long-time partner, Karl Jaeger, to Vice Chairman. 

“Bill has been a driving force behind Argonne for many years and elevating him to President recognizes and honors his significant contributions,” said Klump, Founder and Chairman of Argonne. “We have already seen significant growth as a direct result of Bill’s leadership, and we look forward to seeing where he takes Argonne over the next 20 years.”

“I’m fortunate to work with a nimble, growing team and to lead a firm that has the freedom and flexibility to pursue investments of all types without being beholden to a specific mandate or time horizon,” said Weimar, who joined Argonne in 2012. “Our goal has always been long-term value creation, and we look forward to continuing that tradition.”

Argonne Capital Group is a closely held private investment firm that specializes in making equity investments in a diverse range of middle market businesses with scalable growth models. Unlike traditional private equity firms that rely on an aggregated investment fund model, Argonne typically capitalizes each transaction independently for ultimate flexibility on the types of transactions and structures it pursues, terms and deal dynamics, investment time horizon and hold period, recapitalization opportunities, evolving the business model and execution strategy, and exit planning. Since it was founded in 2003, Argonne has built a diversified portfolio of companies with more than $1.8 billion in collective sales and more than 15,000 employees. To date, Argonne has invested over $2 billion of equity capital.  To learn more, please visit

Sunshine Restaurant Partners (“SRP”) is the master licensee for IHOP restaurants for the entire state of Florida and 48 counties in Southern Georgia. SRP operates or sub-licenses over 150 IHOPs in its exclusive markets and has been an Argonne portfolio company since 2007. 

National Fitness Partners (“NFP”) is one of the largest franchisees of Planet Fitness, with 117 locations across 8-Mid Atlantic states and within the state of Ohio and is headquartered in Camp Hill, PA. NFP has been an Argonne portfolio company since 2016.

Media Contact:
Mary Jane Credeur
The Credeur Group
(404) 317-2718
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SOURCE Argonne Capital Group, LLC