CKE Restaurants: Another Private Equity Firm Said to Be Circling

Reuters reports that CKE Restaurant's private equity (PE) firm owner, Apollo, is seeking buyers for the Carl's and Hardee's brands.

I like both brands operationally. I originally hailed from Hardee's as an assistant manager in 1978. I like Andy Puzder as a CEO even if his politics are questionable. Andy worked to support franchisee associations to his credit. But Apollo did nothing but give CKE a place to hang out after it was battered by low store comps resulting from the 2008 recession in California. Apollo got some dividends and CKR got some higher debt but thats about all that happened.

CKE's efforts for an initial public offering was scuttled in 2012 due to bad timing and heavy debt. That likely triggered this action. Big PE firms have trouble with mature brands. Hopefully, the next PE firm owner is more than just an office in the sky.