Less than two years after a $1 billion buyout by Apollo Management, CKE Restaurants, the Carpinteria-based parent of burger chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardees, is preparing to go public again in a $100 million offering.
The company said in a brief statement on May 17 that it had filed regulatory papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with a public offering of its stock.
CKE is the second-largest privately held company in the Tri-Counties with revenue of $1.28 billion last year. That’s down slightly from the approximately $1.5 billion in annual sales it reported before the financial crisis.
CKE has about 200 employees at its South Coast headquarters, and more than 3,200 restaurants around the world operate under its Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands, making it the fifth-largest burger chain in the world, according to its regulatory filings.
The company said it has not determined the size or price of the public offering, but shares will be offered by both CKE and Apollo Management, its stockholder.
CKE said that if the offering succeeds, it will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CK. The proceeds from the offering will be used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes, it said.
CEO Andy Puzder has been an outspoken critic of California’s regulation-heavy environment for permitting new stores and for its byzantine rules for compensating employees in the retail sector, and he has said in the past that the company is looking at Texas as a possible future home once its lease in Carpinteria expires in 2015. Puzder has also advised Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his business deregulation policies.