CKE Inc., parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, announced that an affiliate of Roark Capital Group entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in the company with senior management retaining a minority stake. CKE is currently majority-owned and controlled by investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Headquartered in Carpinteria, California, CKE, through its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises brands including Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito, and Red Burrito. The CKE system includes 3,400 restaurants in 42 states and in 29 countries and U.S. territories worldwide generating approximately $3.9 billion in system revenues.
“Roark is thrilled to partner with CKE’s A+ management team, led by Andy Puzder, and be associated with these differentiated brands and their engaged and successful franchisees and employees,” says Neal Aronson, Roark’s managing partner.
“We’re looking forward to our long-term partnership with Roark Capital Group. Their proven track record of success and deep expertise in the restaurant and franchise sectors will be very beneficial as we continue to grow and expand CKE’s market-leading brands around the world,” says Andy Puzder, CKE’s chief executive officer. “The entire senior management team of CKE is very excited about having Roark Capital's support in continuing to build the company’s world-class quick service restaurant organization.”
“We’re also very grateful to Apollo for the support and guidance they have provided over the past three years,” Puzder says. “They’ve been great partners and a big part of our success over that period of time.”
“We would like to thank the CKE management team, led by Andy Puzder, as well as all of the company’s employees, franchisees, and licensees for their dedication and commitment during our fund’s ownership to execute a business strategy that has built substantial value at CKE. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with such an outstanding organization,” says Peter P. Copses, CKE’s chairman and a senior partner at Apollo.
Goldman Sachs & Co. and Wells Fargo Securities LLC are acting as financial advisors to CKE, and Morgan Lewis LLP is serving as legal counsel to the company. King & Spalding LLP is serving as legal counsel to Roark Capital Group.