Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, announced that an affiliate has acquired a majority stake in CKE Inc., including 3,413 restaurants in 42 states and 30 foreign countries and U.S. territories, from funds managed by Apollo Global Management LLC. This investment is Roark’s 29th multiunit company and 17th restaurant brand. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Carpinteria, California, CKE owns, operates, and franchises Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s quick-service restaurants. Collectively, the brand generates about $4 billion in annual system revenues.
“We are pleased to welcome CKE’s brands to our restaurant family,” says Neal Aronson, Roark’s managing partner. “Led by CEO Andy Puzder, CKE is a well-run business with an excellent management team and passionate franchisees. We look forward to working with Andy and the team as they build on their success and continue to execute their strategic vision for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.”
“This is an exciting day for CKE. We look forward to working with Roark and leveraging their deep knowledge in restaurant operations and franchising as we continue to grow the company and bring our great tasting premium-quality burgers to guests worldwide,” says CKE chief executive officer Andy Puzder. “Roark is an ideal next partner that shares our core values and mission of providing world-class service in the QSR sector. The CKE management team will remain in place, and our day to day operations will remain the same.”
“CKE is consistent with our investment strategy of investing in leading consumer and service businesses with strong brands, differentiated market-positions, and identifiable growth opportunities,” says Ezra Field, managing director of Roark.
Roark was advised by Credit Suisse; King & Spalding and DLA Piper acted as legal counsel. CKE was represented by Goldman Sachs & Co. and Wells Fargo Securities LLC, as financial advisors, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as legal counsel.