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CKE Restaurants of Carpinteria Sets July 12 Target Date to Complete Buyout

The CEO has said the company intends to maintain its local headquarters

Carpinteria-based CKE Restaurants Inc., owner of the Carl’s Jr. brand, announced Wednesday that it hopes to close by July 12 on the company’s billion-dollar acquisition by Columbia Lake Acquisition Holdings Inc., an affiliate of New York-based Apollo Management.

The proposed merger is subject to certain closing conditions in the proxy statement CKE filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 3. Shareholders approved the deal June 30. At that time, CKE officials said they expected to close the deal by the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2011.

The agreement says CKE stockholders will get $12.55 in cash for each share of the company. The transaction is valued at about $1 billion, including refinancing of the company’s debt.

“We are within the timeline of fiscal year 2011,” CKE Public Relations Director Beth Mansfield said. “Our fiscal year 2011 started on Jan. 26, 2010.”

Mansfield said CKE Chief Executive Officer Andy Puzder is on vacation and could not be reached for comment. Puzder owns more than 1.3 million shares of the company.

Puzder has said that the company plans to maintain its Carpinteria headquarters, which has about 180 employees. The company also has offices in Anaheim, where founder Carl Karcher had his biggest success, and St. Louis, where the Hardee’s burger chain is headquartered.

CKE has 3,146 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 16 countries, including 1,233 Carl’s Jr. and 1,901 Hardee’s restaurants.

Earlier this year, CKE scrapped its previous agreement with Thomas H. Lee Partners. In February, CKE agreed to a buyout offer from the Boston-based private equity investment firm, which agreed to acquire CKE for $928 million, including the assumption of $309 million of net debt. Under that deal, CKE shareholders would have received $11.05 in cash per share.

Noozhawk contributor Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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