Roark Capital, a private-equity firm with hands in several restaurants, has established a new fund, Roark Capital Partners VI LP, with intentions of raising $5 billion.
The news comes after Roark raised $1.4 billion last year for a restaurant-focused fund called Roark Diversified Restaurant Fund II LP. The firm, headquartered in Atlanta, specializes in franchised and multi-location business models in the restaurant, specialty retail, consumer and business services, and health, wellness, and beauty sectors.
The new flagship fund would be the same size as its predecessor, Roark Capital Partners V LP, which closed in October 2018 at $5 billion—pushing past its $4 billion target.
Since its inception, the firm’s affiliates have acquired 90 franchise/multi-location brands, which earn roughly $54 billion in system revenues across 63,000 locations, according to the company’s website. That includes Inspire Brands, Focus Brands, and CKE Restaurants, which consists of big-time chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s, Jimmy John’s, Dunkin’, Sonic Drive-In, McAlister’s Deli, Jamba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Hardee’s, and Carl’s Jr.
The private-equity firm is responsible for taking Wingstop public in 2015, which had an IPO that exceeded expectations. Roark also sold Il Fornaio to Create Restaurants in 2019 for $74 million.
Roark remained busy in 2020 in terms of restaurant transactions. The most significant splash came in the fall when Inspire announced the $11.3 billion acquisition of Dunkin’, the largest purchase in the industry since 3G Capital LP, Burger King Worldwide Inc., acquired Tim Hortons for $12.64 billion in August 2014.
In April, the private-equity firm purchased a $200 million stake in The Cheesecake Factory, with Roark President Paul Ginsberg joining the board of directors as an independent member. Additionally, after nine years of ownership, the company sold Corner Bakery Café to Pandya Restaurant Growth Brands, LLC, one of the Rohan Group of Companies—the same entity that owns Boston Market.
Roark said on its website that its equity investment ranges from $50 million to more than $1 billion in companies that have revenues from $20 million to more than $5 billion and EBITDA ranging from $10 million to more than $500 million. The company defines its role as “facilitating the achievement of management's vision for a company by providing capital and by sharing insights, ideas and experiences with management.”