CCMP to build Houston office around famed turnaround pro

The JPMorgan Partners spinout has appointed Quiznos' chief executive Greg Brenneman, best known for his private equity sponsored restructurings of Continental Airlines and Burger King, as chairman and investment committee member. The firm says more operation-focused hires will follow.

CCMP Capital has hired turnaround specialist Greg Brenneman as firm chairman and will launch an office in Houston, Texas around the former Continental Airlines and Burger King executive.

Brenneman, 46, will begin his duties as an active full time partner with the JPMorgan spinout starting 30 September, and will join the firm’s seven member investment committee.

Brenneman will also relinquish his position as chief executive of CCMP portfolio company Quiznos, a national submarine sandwich fast-food chain, but will retain his role there as executive chairman.  

CCMP managing director Dave Deno will replace Brenneman as chief executive of Denver, Colorado-based Quiznos.

“Now clearly operations are back [in private equity], financing is tough and you got to go to work again, and that plays to my strength and what I’ve done my entire career,” Brenneman told PEO, adding that CCMP’s exit of several portfolio companies at the peak of the buyout boom last year played a key part in his decision to join the firm.  

Brenneman is well known within the alternative asset space for restructuring Continental and Burger King, two of the highest profile leveraged buyouts in private equity history.

In 1995, Brenneman was installed by an at-the-time young and hungry TPG to restructure its $66 million flagship investment in Continental Airlines. Until his departure in 2001, Brenneman served as the carrier’s chief operating officer and subsequently president, helping lift the struggling carrier from bankruptcy and propelling TPG to the top tier of buyout firms.

In 2004, Brenneman helped lead a then Bain Capital, TPG and Goldman Sachs-controlled Burger King to a successful public offering, although he left the fast food chain shortly before its public float. Like Continental, Burger King had been reporting severe losses until Brenneman’s arrival.

Over the past decade, Brenneman has also served as chief executive and president of PwC Consulting and currently sits on the board of directors of The Home Depot and payroll processor Automatic Data Processing.
Brenneman will be investing in CCMP funds through his own personal wealth investment vehicle, TurnWorks, a private equity-style company he founded and chairs. Turnworks is an active investor in Quizno’s.

New York-headquartered CCMP plans to establish an office near Brenneman’s current home in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston. CCMP will transplant some of its energy-focused unit to the new location.

“In a very short period of time that will become an official CCMP office,” said Brenneman.  “A big piece of CCMP’s practice is in the energy sector and that happens to be a pretty attractive sector. You can do worse things than have an office in Houston right now.”

CCMP, which along with an Asian affiliate maintains a London office, has made a strong push in recent months towards adding operational expertise.

In February, the firm tapped former Kraft Foods and Philip Morris executive John Bowlin and former Triad Hospitals chief executive James Shelton as advisors in CCMP’s consumer and healthcare infrastructure portfolios, respectively.

Murray added that he is currently seeking to add an operational adviser for the firm’s energy portfolio.

In June of last year, CCMP laid off four employees in order to add more operationally focused staff. Among the laid off was principal Stephan Oppenheimer, who was subsequently hired as a principal by Moelis & Company in January 2008.