A burger bidding war might be in the works for Carpinteria-based CKE Restaurants, the parent of the Carl’s Jr. chain of fast-food restaurants.
Citing sources close to the potential offer, the New York Post reported March 11 that Nelson Peltz, owner of the Wendy’s and Arby’s chain of restaurants, is considering a bid for the South Coast company. In late February, CKE said it had agreed to a buyout by Boston-based private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, or THL, for $619 million in cash and the assumption of $309 million in CKE debt.
The private equity buyout was slated to give CKE stockholders $11.05 per share, a 25 percent premium over the stock’s price before the deal. But CKE said it remained free to search for other offers until April 6.
Any offer from Wendy’s would have to be a sweet one to make up for a big breakup fee if the deal with THL is called off. According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CKE is on the hook for a $15.5 million termination fee to THL and up to $5 million of the Boston firm’s costs if it doesn’t complete the deal with THL.
CKE’s stock was up half a percent to $11.33 in midday trading March 11.