Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, announced today 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 (NYSE: APO). This investment is Roark’s 29th multi-unit company and 17th restaurant brand. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Carpinteria, Calif., CKE owns, operates and franchises Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® quick-service restaurants. Collectively the brand generates approximately $4 billion in annual system revenues.
“We are pleased to welcome CKE’s brands to our restaurant family,” said 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.”
CKE Chief Executive Officer Andy Puzder stated, “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. 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.”
Ezra Field, Managing Director of Roark, added, “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.”
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.