Skip navigation

Sources: Roark Capital to buy Corner Bakery, Il Fornaio

Roark Capital Group, owner of Focus Brands and McAlister’s Deli, has signed an agreement to acquire the Corner Bakery Café and Il Fornaio brands from Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Co., according to two sources familiar with the deal and a report on, a website covering private-equity news.

The transaction is scheduled to be completed in June, according to a source who spoke to Nation’s Restaurant News, but asked to remain anonymous because he has numerous clients in the restaurant merger-and-acquisition space. NRN’s additional source requested anonymity for the same reasons.

The story cited Buyouts Magazine. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Officials at Roark Capital and Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill said they would not comment on the deal, and calls to Il Fornaio and Corner Bakery were not returned by press time.

The Dallas-based, fast-casual Corner Bakery chain totals 119 units, while the Corte Madera, Calif.-based, full-service Il Fornaio tallies 21 locations.

According to estimates from Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 200 census, 2010 corporate revenue for Il Fornaio/Corner Bakery totaled about $366 million, an increase of about 3.9 percent over the prior year.

If the deal is completed, it would mark the exit for New York-based Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill, or BRS, which purchased Il Fornaio (America) Corp. in a management buyout in July 2001. Five years later, BRS acquired the Corner Bakery Café concept from Brinker International.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday whether the deal would include Il Fornaio’s one-off concepts Canaletto restaurant in The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, or the Risotteria quick-service concept in Seattle.

Roark Capital owns a number of restaurant companies and brands that primarily focus on the quick-service or fast-casual segments. Concepts include Focus Brands, the parent company to Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s, as well as a franchisee of the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand.

Also in Roark Capital’s portfolio is the Ridgeland, Miss.-based McAlister’s Deli chain, acquired in 2005. Last year Roark Capital bought the rapidly growing Wingstop Restaurants Inc., based in Richardson, Texas.

With about $1.5 billion in equity capital, according to its website, Roark Capital focuses on middle-market investment opportunities.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.