CARPINTERIA, Calif., Dec. 5 // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR) announced today the sale of 30 restaurants as part of its ongoing strategic refranchising program that was originally announced in April, 2007. The initiative is expected to involve approximately 200 Hardee's restaurant locations in a number of markets across the Midwest and Southeast. To date, the Company has sold 136 restaurants to franchisees and secured commitments for 59 new franchise restaurants under development agreements for those markets.
The Company most recently completed the sale of 30 restaurants in the Kansas City market, including Topeka, KS and St. Joseph, MO, to Rising Stars, LLC. The franchisees purchasing the restaurants, Steve Rosenfield and Buddy Brown, currently operate Hardee's restaurants in Georgia, Montana and Wyoming, as well as Carl's Jr. restaurant locations in Colorado. With the purchase of these additional restaurants, Rosenfield and Brown now own more than 100 restaurants under the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. flag. Rising Stars has also committed to build 15 new Hardee's restaurant locations in the Kansas City market.
"Buddy and I are excited to increase our ownership in Hardee's with the purchase of 30 units in the Kansas City market," said franchisee Steve Rosenfield. "We believe the brand is well-positioned for future success and look forward to developing additional units over the coming years."
The Company's president and chief executive officer Andrew F. Puzder commented, "We are very pleased to continue our strategic refranchising program with the sale of 30 restaurants in Kansas City to Rising Stars LLC. Steve and Buddy were the first franchisees to acquire Hardee's restaurants under the refranchising program we started in April, and the purchase of these additional units reaffirms their commitment to the brand. This transaction allows us to further concentrate our focus on growing our core markets, while at the same time accelerating unit development in our franchise markets. In addition, our refranchising efforts lower our capital requirements and increase our free cash flow. We look forward to continuing to secure additional refranchising and development commitments in our Hardee's footprint, and to the brand's continued growth."
As of the end of its fiscal 2008 second quarter, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,036 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 13 countries, including 1,111 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,909 Hardee's restaurants.
SAFE HARBOR DISCLOSURE
Matters discussed in this news release contain forward-looking statements relating to future plans and developments, financial goals and operating performance that are based on management's current beliefs and assumptions. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that are often difficult to predict, are beyond the Company's control and which may cause results to differ materially from expectations. Factors that could cause the Company's results to differ materially from those described include, but are not limited to, whether or not restaurants will be closed and the number of restaurant closures, consumers' concerns or adverse publicity regarding the Company's products, the effectiveness of operating initiatives and advertising and promotional efforts (particularly at the Hardee's brand), changes in economic conditions or prevailing interest rates, changes in the price or availability of commodities, availability and cost of energy, workers' compensation and general liability premiums and claims experience, changes in the Company's suppliers' ability to provide quality and timely products to the Company, delays in opening new restaurants or completing remodels, severe weather conditions, the operational and financial success of the Company's franchisees, franchisees' willingness to participate in the Company's strategies, the availability of financing for the Company and its franchisees, unfavorable outcomes in litigation, changes in accounting policies and practices, effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting, new legislation or government regulation (including environmental laws), the availability of suitable locations and terms for the sites designated for development, and other factors as discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law or the rules of the New York Stock Exchange.
SOURCE CKE Restaurants, Inc.