Culver’s sells minority interest to Roark

Culver Franchising System Inc. — operator of the Culver's QSR chain — has agreed to sell a minority of individual Culver's shareholders' shares to Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group, a news release said. The Culver family will maintain majority ownership of the company.

"For many years the Culver family has been discussing ownership succession planning with the desire to remain a family-owned business, stay privately held and proceed with thoughtful estate planning," Culver's co-founder and board chairman Craig Culver said in the release. "The sale of a minority interest in the company allows us to do so. We want to make sure we set up the next generation of the Culver’s family and the entire franchised system for success."

Roark specializes in franchised and multi-unit business models in retail, restaurant and consumer services, the release said. As part of the business agreement, Roark will have representation on Culver’s board. Management roles will not change and the company has no plans to sell additional shares.

"We will continue to operate the business similar to how we do today and are excited to have the ability to tap into Roark’s knowledge base to build and enhance future capabilities as we continue to grow and develop future strategic priorities," Culver's President and CEO Joseph Koss said in the release. "This partnership will complement the long-term growth of the franchise community and CFSI as a whole."

The 30-year-old chain has more than 600 family-owned and -operated restaurants in 24 states. Roark has 61 franchise and multi-unit brands that generate approximately $25 billion in annual system revenues from 28,000 locations in 50 states and 78 countries. Brands include Arby’s, CKE Restaurants, Corner Bakery and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s-Focus Brands.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Financial News

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