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Roark Capital adds another restaurant group to its portfolio in acquisition deal with Apollo

November 20
10:04 AM 2013

Private equity firm Roark Capital Group secures another restaurant group into its portfolio. Roark and Apollo Global Management had agreed on an acquisition deal for the former to purchase restaurant group CKE Inc. CKE is the parent company of fast food chains Hardees and Carl's Jr. CKE also has Green Burrito, and Red Burrito restaurant chains as its other subsidiaries. Carl's Jr. founder Carl Karcher incorporated the company back in 1964 as Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc.

Roark emerged at the top of a bidding war with rival TriArtisan Capital Partners, said people who were familiar with the proceedings. Roark and TriAstisan were reportedly duking it out in the final stage of the bidding process. Reuters said on Monday that TriArtisan was leading in the process to acquire CKE. The auction also drew a bid from Pamplona Capital Management. The news agency also said earlier in a separate report that although discussions were ongoing, there was still a possibility that the discussions would go sideways.

The acquisition deal would reportedly put the value of CKE in the USD1.65 billion to USD1.75 billion, said the sources. The sources had not been named by the news agency for unknown reasons.

When asked about the latest update on the acquisition deal, Apollo refused to provide a statement on the matter. Reuters said Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Wells Fargo & Co were CKE's representation in the deal.

CKE has over 3,000 franchise or owned store locations across 42 states in the US and in 25 other countries. It currently competes with fast-food companies including Burger King Worldwide Inc and McDonald's Corp.

Roark, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, had placed investment in over a dozen restaurant concepts. These included Il Fornaio, McAlister's Deli, Moe's Southwest Grill, Schlotzsky's, Wingstop, Miller's Ale House, Arby's, Auntie Anne's, Cinnabon, Carvel Ice Cream and Corner Bakery.

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