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CKE Restaurants sold for $619 million

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Carpinteria, Calif. CKE Restaurants, the owner of fast-food chains such as Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., agreed to sell itself to the private-equity firm THL Partners for $619 million in cash as the leveraged buyout industry continues to revive.

Under the terms of the deal, THL will pay $11.05 a share, a 24% premium to CKE’s closing share price of $8.91 on Thursday. THL will also assume about $309 million of CKE’s debt.

“We believe this transaction provides excellent value to our shareholders and represents an exciting opportunity to continue the growth and development of CKE Restaurants in partnership with THL,” said Andrew F. Puzder, CKE’s CEO.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, although CKE will be free to look for better offers until April 6.

CKE was advised by UBS and the law firm Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth. THL was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital, who are also providing financing, and the law firm Ropes & Gray.