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Local Carl’s Jr., Green Burrito Restaurants Expect Business As Usual Despite Sale

Officials at Carpinteria-based CKE Inc. say purchase by investment group will strengthen, extend brands

A private Atlanta investment firm will acquire Carpinteria-based CKE Restaurants Inc. and all its Carl’s Jr., Green Burrito, Red Burrito and Hardee’s restaurant brands.

CKE announced last week that the company would be sold to Roark Capital Group through an agreement in which the private equity firm buys a majority stake in CKE and allows senior management to retain a minority stake.

Operations at CKE-affiliated restaurants, including all local Carl’s Jr. and Green Burrito locations, won’t be affected by the ownership switch, according to Kathleen Bush, a spokeswoman for CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc.

Through its subsidiaries, CKE owns and operates 3,400 restaurants in 42 states and 29 countries and U.S. territories worldwide, generating about $3.9 billion in system revenues.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the sale was slated to close in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval.

CKE restaurant chains will join a long lineup of those already affiliated with Roark, including Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Corner Bakery, Wingstop and others.

CKE was majority-owned and controlled by investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management LLC.

“We’re looking forward to our long-term partnership with Roark Capital Group,” CKE CEO Andy Puzder said in a statement. “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.

"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 continued. “They’ve been great partners and a big part of our success over that period of time.”

When Roark’s investment in CKE closes, the firm’s brand portfolio will increase to 27 companies that collectively have more than 15,000 locations and $15 billion in system-wide revenues across 50 states and 68 countries.

Roark’s total locations include nearly 13,000 domestic locations and more than 2,300 international locations.

CKE is Roark’s 14th restaurant investment.

“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,” said Neal Aronson, Roark’s managing partner.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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