Roark purchase of Corner Bakery Cafe confirmed, Arby's also purchased

June 12, 2011 | by Valerie Killifer

Roark Capital Group, parent company of Moe’s Southwest Grill, FOCUS Brands, Wingstop and McAlister’s Deli, has announced that its affiliates have acquired Il Fornaio (America) Corporation, owner of Corner Bakery Cafe and Il Fornaio Restaurants and Bakeries.

News first broke of the pending purchase toward the end of May.

Dallas-based Corner Bakery Cafe launched a franchise development program in 2007 to attract partners with multi-unit restaurant and retail experience. Roark said the firm plans to push Corner Bakery’s growth through a more aggressive franchising initiative. To date, Corner Bakery has 119 locations throughout the major markets of Southern California, Texas, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Following this acquisition, Corner Bakery look to develop in major cities in Northern California, New England, the Southeast and the Midwest.

Il Fornaio was founded in Italy and is now based in Corte Madera, Calif. It owns and operates 22 full-service Italian restaurants in California and across the United States and averages more than $5 million in annual sales per restaurant.

News also broke today in The Wall Street Journal that Roark has purchased a majority stake in Arby's for about $430 million.

Wendy's/Arby's will receive about $130 million in cash with Roark assuming about $190 million of Arby's related-debt. Roark also will invest about $180 million at the closing, covering the cash portion of the deal, transaction costs and capital for Arby's. Additionally, Roark committed to spend up to an additional $50 million through 2013 in capital.

Wendy's/Arby's will retain 18.5 percent stock interest in Arby's, valued at about $30 million. The transaction also triggers a tax benefit of about $80 million to Wendy's/Arby's. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

The move comes nearly five months after WAG announced it was exploring strategic alternatives for Arby's so it could focus on the Wendy's brand.

Roland Smith, president and CEO of WAG, called 2011 a transition year, one that lays the groundwork for Wendy's to deliver between 10 and 15 percent average annual EBITDA growth in 2012 and beyond.

Topics: Bakery Cafe , Business Strategy and Profitability , Operations Management

Valerie Killifer / As the founder of P-O-P Content & Communications, Valerie Killifer brings her passion for creative thinking and relationship development to the forefront of her business. She spent 15 years as a professional journalist and continues to write about the brands, people and trends impacting the restaurant industry.
www View Valerie Killifer's profile on LinkedIn

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