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Roark Capital closes on $2.5B fund

Roark Capital closes on $2.5B fund

Fund should enable private equity group to make more deals

Roark Capital Group has closed on a $2.5 billion fund, a fundraising effort that should enable the private equity group to continue to acquire more brands, the firm said Monday.

Roark Capital Partners IV LP, which closed in December at its $2.5 billion fundraising cap, is the largest fund in Roark’s 14-year history — exceeding its previous fundraising round by $1 billion. Overall, Roark has raised more than $6 billion in equity capital since it was formed in 2001.

Roark has acquired 34 franchise and multiunit brands in its history that have overall annual system revenues of $16 billion and 18,000 locations. Its acquisitions include 14 restaurant chains, including Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., Arby’s, Corner Bakery Café, Wingstop, Miller’s Ale House, Il Fornaio and Focus Brands — which includes Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Schlotzsky’s.

Roark’s strategy is to invest in small, medium and large-scale companies, but the size of its largest acquisitions has grown with its fund sizes. After raising $1.5 billion in 2012, the company acquired Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. owner CKE Restaurants Inc. The $2.5 billion fund could open the door for even larger deals.

Roark executives declined to comment Monday, but Roark founder Neal Aronson said in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News last month that the private equity group expects to make more deals.

“We have a big appetite,” Aronson said. “We want to do a bunch more. We’re hoping to do a bunch more, and just want to be investing capital with special brands and special people.”

Lazard Fréres & Co. LLC acted as placement agent for the latest fund. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal counsel.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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