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Carl's Jr. parent CKE to be acquired for $619 million and debt

CKE Restaurants Inc., parent of fast-food restaurant chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, said Friday that it will be bought by a private equity firm for $619 million.

Thomas H. Lee Partners will acquire the Carpinteria-based company for about $928 million while assuming about $309 million in net debt.

The Boston-based private equity firm, known as THL, will offer CKE shareholders a 24% premium off Thursday’s closing price, giving them each $11.05 in cash for each share.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year if it is approved by shareholders and regulators. But first, CKE will accept other acquisition proposals until April 6.

The company is using UBS Investment Bank as a financial advisor. Thomas H. Lee has turned to Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital, whose affiliates are also helping to fund the deal.

“We are committed to making this great company even better, and to working together with the entire organization to provide an even stronger foundation for value creation, expansion and profitable growth," Todd Abbrecht, managing director of Thomas H. Lee, said in a statement.

CKE shares jumped 25% in morning trading, up $2.25 to $11.16.

-- Tiffany Hsu

 
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