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Roark Capital Group to buy CKE Restaurants from Apollo

A Carl's Jr. fast food restaurant flag flies with a U.S. flag in Los Angeles, California May 11, 2012. REUTERS/David McNew
A Carl's Jr. fast food restaurant flag flies with a U.S. flag in Los Angeles, California May 11, 2012. REUTERS/David McNew

By Olivia Oran

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private equity firm Roark Capital Group has clinched a deal to acquire Apollo Global Management-based restaurant group CKE Inc, the parent of the Hardees and Carl's Jr. fast food chains.

Roark prevailed over rival bidder TriArtisan Capital Partners in the later stage of the process, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal values CKE at between $1.65 billion to $1.75 billion, the people said.

Apollo declined to comment on the transaction. Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Wells Fargo & Co represented CKE in the deal.

TriArtisan was in the lead to buy CKE in an auction that also drew interest from Roark Capital and Pamplona Capital Management, but discussions were continuing and Apollo could still turn to another buyer, Reuters reported on Monday.

The company, with more than 3,000-owned or franchised locations across 42 U.S. states and 25 countries, competes with fast-food companies such as McDonald's Corp and Burger King Worldwide Inc .

Atlanta-based Roark has invested in more than a dozen restaurant concepts, including Miller's Ale House, Arby's, Auntie Anne's, Cinnabon, Carvel Ice Cream, Corner Bakery, Il Fornaio, McAlister's Deli, Moe's Southwest Grill, Schlotzsky's and Wingstop.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Soyoung Kim, Bernard Orr)

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