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Thomas H. Lee Partners to Acquire CKE Restaurants

Ropes & Gray, which has played a lead role advising on M&A deals in the restaurant industry, is representing Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) in its proposed $928 million acquisition of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (CKE), owner of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's quick-service restaurant chains. THL and CKE announced on February 26 that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The acquisition includes the assumption of approximately $309 million of net debt.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by partners Julie Jones and David Chapin. Other partners on the deal team include Jay Kim, debt; Loretta Richard, executive compensation; Richard Gordet, real estate; Leo Arnaboldi, tax; Edward Black, intellectual property; and Coke Cherney, environmental law.

Ropes & Gray has vast experience with transactions in the restaurant sector, including representing private equity sponsors in their $3.2 billion acquisition of OSI Restaurant Partners, owners of Outback Steakhouse and other restaurants. The firm also has worked on the acquisitions of Dunkin' Brands, Domino's Pizza and Burger King.

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