Roark hits one-third of target for latest franchise-focused buyout fund


Franchise-focused buyout firm Roark Capital has raised more than $460m for its latest mid-market fund, which is targeting $1.25bn.

The Atlanta, US-based firm raised $20m from the University of Michigan Endowment Fund and has previously received investments from New York State Common Retirement Fund, Harvard Management Company and Princeton University, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Roark is named after Howard Roark, the protagonist in Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead, and aims to emulate his endeavour and commitment to integrity as part of its business plan.

The firm has more than $1.5bn in equity capital under management, and concentrates investments on family-owned business transfers, management and corporate buyouts, recapitalisations and take-private deals.

Roark paid $130m for a majority stake in Arby’s, the US’s second largest fast food sandwich chain, last June from Wendy’s/Arby’s Group.

The deal included the assumption of $190m of the 3,600-strong chain’s debt and saw the parent company keep an 18.5 per cent stake in the business.

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