Daily News: August 5, 2013

GE Capital Finances Roark’s Acquisition of Miller’s Ale House

GE Capital’s Franchise Finance business announced that it provided financing to an affiliate of Roark Capital Group for the acquisition of Miller’s Ale House, a 65-unit casual dining chain based in Jupiter, FL with approximately $300 million in system-wide sales. GE Capital served as administrative agent, with GE Capital Markets serving as joint lead arranger and joint bookrunner.

Roark Capital is an Atlanta-based private equity firm with more than $3 billion in equity capital under management. This transaction marks its 26th multi-unit company, 13th restaurant brand and second full-service restaurant concept. Roark Capital is a long-time GE Capital customer.

“We’re pleased to participate in this acquisition with Roark Capital, one of the largest restaurant-focused private equity sponsors in the U.S.,” said Bill Kraus, a managing director at GE Capital, Franchise Finance. “Although M&A in the restaurant business was relatively slow in the first half of this year, we’ve been able to sustain our momentum. The ability to leverage multiple co-investment programs in this transaction — in addition to our capital markets successes earlier in the year — helped us deliver for our customer.”

“Based on GE Capital’s experience in the restaurant industry and its dedicated resources, it was clear that they were the right choice to team up with on this transaction. As expected, they were able to deliver a seamless execution,” said Ezra Field, a partner at Roark Capital. “We were pleased with the expertise and commitment of the entire deal team.”

Miller’s Ale House is a sports-themed casual restaurant chain that focuses on high-quality food, great service and exceptional value. Its units are company-owned; the majority are in Florida. It had been owned by private equity firm KarpReilly LLC and founder Jack Miller.