Roark Capital Group is an Atlanta-based private equity firm with a diverse portfolio encompassing numerous sectors. Since its inception in 2001 by Neal K. Aronson, the company has focused on middle-market investment opportunities, primarily in the North American market. Roark’s notable influence is largely seen in the franchising industry, where it owns and manages a variety of well-known brands. With more than $37 billion in assets under management, Roark’s reach spans across food and restaurant chains, retail services, and health and wellness businesses, solidifying its position as a comprehensive investor in prominent consumer brands.
With a strategic approach to investments, Roark Capital Group delivers sustainable growth and operational improvements in its portfolio companies. It holds a significant number of influential brands such as Inspire Brands, which owns Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, among others. The firm’s diverse holdings also extend to the retail and consumer sector with companies like Divisions Maintenance Group providing integrated facilities maintenance services. Additionally, Roark has made strides within the health and wellness domain, including investments like Anytime Fitness.
- Roark Capital Group has a broad portfolio including leading food and restaurant brands.
- The firm’s investments extend to retail, consumer services, and health and wellness sectors.
- Roark manages a wide range of companies by fostering growth and operational excellence.
Roark Capital Group Overview
Roark Capital Group, based in Atlanta, Georgia, stands out as a significant player in the private equity space. Founded by Neal K. Aronson in 2001, the firm has grown to manage considerable assets with a focus on consumer and business service companies.
Their investment approach is anchored in their deep-seated expertise in franchise and franchise-like business models. Such specialization has enabled them to build a diverse portfolio housing well-known brands across various sectors. Ian Picache, one of the company’s leading figures, contributes to defining Roark’s investment strategies and portfolio management.
Noteworthy among Roark’s investments are players in the restaurant industry, personal fitness, retail services, and more. This firm prides itself on its collaborative engagement with management teams of the companies it invests in, seeking to foster long-term value creation.
Underneath their vast investment canopy, Roark Capital Group exhibits a commitment to nurturing growth and operational excellence in all its portfolio companies, thus reinforcing its stature in the private equity landscape.
|Neal K. Aronson in 2001
|Consumer and business service companies
|Franchise and franchise-like business models
At the heart of Roark Capital Group’s approach is a desire to collaborate with exceptional management teams. As a private equity firm, they invest in both consumer and business services sectors with a keen interest in franchise and franchise-like models. With assets under management totaling around $37 billion, they emphasize sustainable growth and profitability.
Partnership and Management Commitment: Roark focuses on forming strong partnerships and offering capital to businesses that demonstrate well-defined strategic plans coupled with first-rate execution.
Growth and Profitability: Their strategy revolves around fostering growth and boosting profitability through sound investments.
Experienced Leaders: They place high value on investing in teams with a solid track record, recognizing that experienced management is a key criterion for successful investments, as indicated on their Investment Criteria page.
Sustainable Success: The aim is to build profitable businesses capable of sustaining long-term success for all stakeholders, including management, employees, shareholders, customers, and advisors.
By championing these tenets, Roark ensures that their investments are poised to yield substantial value in the long run, benefiting not only their portfolio but also the greater market in the consumer and business services domains.
Roark Capital Group has established a robust footprint in the franchise sector. They have a rich portfolio that encompasses a variety of food and restaurant franchises, including some very well-known names.
- Anytime Fitness: Widely recognized as the world’s largest fitness franchise, offering 24/7 access to gym facilities. Their flexible gym locations operate round the clock every day of the year, accommodating today’s diverse lifestyles. Anytime Fitness gyms serve numerous franchisees globally.
- Arby’s: Renowned for its beef sandwiches and curly fries, Arby’s remains a favorite among fast-food aficionados. Roark’s association with Arby’s has further solidified the brand’s market presence.
- Buffalo Wild Wings: A casual dining restaurant and sports bar franchise famous for its Buffalo wings and assortment of sauces. Their numerous locations offer a spirited environment for wing enthusiasts.
- Dunkin’: Formerly Dunkin’ Donuts, this franchise has streamlined its name and continues to serve a variety of coffees, donuts, and baked goods. Roark’s influence is seen in Dunkin’s strategic growth and brand evolution.
Roark Capital Group provides support and investment to these franchises, empowering franchise owners to scale their business while maintaining high operational standards. They invest in companies that offer robust franchisee support, recognizing the symbiotic relationship between a franchise’s success and its franchisees.
By focusing on sustainable growth and operational excellence, Roark ensures that each franchise under its wing thrives in competitive markets, offering quality services and products to customers across various locations.
Key Food and Restaurant Brands
Roark Capital Group has a diverse portfolio in the food and restaurant industry. They own several well-known brands that cater to a wide range of tastes and dining experiences.
Quick Service & Coffee:
- Dunkin’: Famous for its coffee and baked goods, Dunkin’ is a staple for those in need of a quick breakfast or caffeine boost.
- Sonic: This drive-in fast-food restaurant is known for its carhop service and an extensive menu that includes burgers, milkshakes, and more.
Casual Dining & Subs:
- Buffalo Wild Wings: A popular sports bar brand, Buffalo Wild Wings is the go-to place for wings, beer, and live sports.
- Subway: Subway is one of the largest fast-food chains globally, well-known for its customizable sandwiches and salads.
Bakery & Snacks:
- Jamba: Specializing in smoothies, juices, and bowls, Jamba is all about healthier snacking options.
- Nothing Bundt Cakes: As the name suggests, this bakery chain stands out for its range of bundt cakes in various flavors and sizes.
- The Cheesecake Factory: Offering an expansive menu, The Cheesecake Factory is especially famous for its wide assortment of cheesecakes.
- North Italia: For those who love Italian cuisine, North Italia serves handmade pizzas, pasta, and other Italian favorites.
- CK Restaurants: This includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, known for their charbroiled burgers and thick milkshakes.
- Culver’s: A minority investment by Roark, Culver’s is famous for its ButterBurgers and frozen custard.
These brands reflect Roark Capital Group’s impact on dining experiences, from quick bites to leisurely meals. Each brings a unique flavor to the table under Roark’s expansive umbrella.
Retail and Consumer Services
Roark Capital Group boasts an impressive portfolio in the retail and consumer services sectors, known for nurturing well-known brands to reach their growth potential. They manage a range of entities, from Baskin-Robbins‘ iconic ice cream parlors to Jimmy John’s‘ rapidly-served sandwiches, symbolizing their strength in the food and restaurant domain.
Among their assets, Miller’s Ale House stands out as a relaxed, family-friendly sports bar chain where patrons can enjoy a varied menu alongside a brew. Another Roark-affiliated company transforming the quick service industry is Take 5, which offers expedited oil change services without the need for appointments, ensuring drivers are back on the road swiftly.
In the educational realm, Roark extends its presence through School of Rock, a program designed to inspire the next generation of musicians with performance-based music education. Moving to the health-conscious diner, Flower Child embodies the group’s foray into the fast-casual restaurant scene, crafting dishes that are both delicious and nourishing, catering to the modern palate that favors wholesome eating.
Below is a concise showcase of Roark’s involvement in retail and consumer services:
|Food and Beverage
|Serves a variety of ice cream flavors and frozen treats.
|Quick Service Restaurant
|Known for gourmet sandwiches with quick delivery.
|Miller’s Ale House
|Offers a broad menu in a sports bar atmosphere.
|Specializes in efficient, drive-thru oil changes.
|School of Rock
|Provides immersive music education experiences.
|Delivers healthy meals focused on freshness and flavor.
Roark Capital Group’s diverse investments reflect their dedication to serving the varied tastes and needs of consumers while staying at the forefront of retail trends.
Health and Wellness Portfolio
Roark Capital Group has a diversified portfolio in the health and wellness industry, supporting brands that promote physical fitness and personal care. Among its investments, Anytime Fitness stands out as a key player, offering 24/7 access to gyms worldwide, making fitness both accessible and convenient for users with busy schedules. Anytime Fitness is known for its community approach and supportive environment.
Another prominent name within Roark’s portfolio is Massage Envy, which has revolutionized the spa and therapeutic massage industry by providing affordable and readily available services. Its success lies in its membership-based business model and its comprehensive range of services, including massages, skincare, and stretching.
Orangetheory Fitness also forms part of this vibrant collection. It’s a boutique fitness studio renowned for its heart rate-based interval training which has garnered a strong following due to its emphasis on technology and results-driven workouts.
In addition to these, Roark supports several other brands under the Self Esteem Brands umbrella, including:
- Basecamp Fitness: A high-intensity workout program designed to offer a balanced fitness regimen.
- The Bar Method: A unique blend of ballet, yoga, and Pilates that focuses on creating a sculpted physique.
- Waxing The City: Specializing in facial and body waxing services, this brand caters to personal grooming and care.
With a focus on fostering active and healthy lifestyles, Roark Capital Group continues to invest in and expand its health and wellness portfolio, supporting companies that are aligned with evolving consumer preferences towards wellbeing and self-care.
Automotive Aftermarket Services
Roark Capital Group boasts a significant presence in the automotive aftermarket services industry, owning a collection of companies that cater to various automotive maintenance and repair needs. The entities under their wing provide a comprehensive range of services spanning from basic oil changes to full-scale body repairs.
Driven Brands, regarded as a national leader in automotive franchising, operates under Roark Capital’s portfolio. They hold the distinction of parenting other notable brands in the industry.
|Brand Owned by Driven Brands
|Repair & Maintenance
|Meineke Car Care Centers®
|Paint & Collision
|Auto Body Repair
|CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts
|Quick Oil Change
|Take 5 Oil Change
Each brand contributes a unique service to the automotive aftermarket sector. Meineke, for instance, is a trusted name in auto repair, offering services like tire replacement, brake repair, and routine car maintenance. On the bodywork front, Maaco excels in collision repair and auto painting, offering cost-effective solutions for vehicle owners.
For more complex body and frame repairs, customers turn to CARSTAR, which has a strong foothold in the North American market. When a quick, efficient oil change is necessary, drivers often seek out Take 5 Oil Change for its drive-thru services that emphasize speed and convenience.
Together, these entities under the Roark Capital umbrella work to ensure vehicles are well-maintained, safe, and looking their best on the road.
Environmental and Maintenance Services
Roark Capital Group has a diverse portfolio, including a significant presence in the environmental services and maintenance operations sector. One of the well-known entities they own is ServiceMaster Brands, which itself encompasses several sub-brands like ServiceMaster Clean and ServiceMaster Restore. These brands are reputable in the industry for providing residential and commercial cleaning, disaster restoration, and termite and pest control services.
The group also invested in the Divisions Maintenance Group, a tech-forward provider of integrated facilities maintenance services across a vast array of locations in the United States. This company assumes a crucial role in ensuring the cleanliness and proper maintenance of retail chains, pharmacies, grocery stores, and more.
Regarding waste management and recycling services, GFL Environmental is another noteworthy mention. GFL stands for Green For Life and symbolizes the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Moreover, Solterra Recycling provides an array of crucial waste management services, emphasizing recycling and environmental sustainability. Alongside them, Waste Pro is another key player in residential and commercial waste collection, recycling, and disposal service that Roark Capital Group has an interest in.
Here’s a concise list of entities within Roark Capital’s portfolio related to environmental and maintenance services:
- ServiceMaster Brands: Including ServiceMaster Clean, and ServiceMaster Restore
- Divisions Maintenance Group: Providing comprehensive facilities maintenance
- GFL Environmental: Focused on sustainability through waste management
- Solterra Recycling: Specializing in eco-friendly waste management services
- Waste Pro: Offering residential and commercial waste collection and recycling services
Roark Capital’s investments clearly support infrastructure that contributes to cleaner and well-maintained environments.
Education and Youth Services
Roark Capital Group has extended its investment portfolio to include a diverse range of companies within the education and youth services sector. They prioritize companies that have a significant impact on learning and development for children and young adults.
One notable entity in their portfolio is Primrose Schools. Primrose is an accredited private preschool that provides a premier early education and child care experience. This establishment focuses on a well-rounded approach to education, catering to both the intellectual and emotional development of children.
In the realm of youth activities, Roark Capital also owns entities that are tailored toward physical and mental enrichment. For instance, they acquired Youth Enrichment Brands, which includes organizations like i9 Sports, providing a platform for youth to engage in various sports activities in a well-structured and enjoyable environment.
Listed here are some of the educational and youth-centric companies under Roark Capital Group’s ownership:
- Mathnasium: A math-focused learning center helping children to improve and excel in their mathematical skills through personalized learning plans.
- US Sports Camps: A service providing youth sports camps across the country, known for fostering sportsmanship and skill development.
- School of Rock: Acquired by Youth Enrichment Brands, offering unique performance-based music education for kids and adults alike.
While Pet Supermarket is typically associated with animal goods and services, it’s important to note that they also contribute to youth education regarding responsible pet ownership through various community outreach programs.
Each of these organizations shares Roark Capital Group’s commitment to nurturing the potential in young people through educational and extracurricular activities.
Company Acquisitions and Growth
Roark Capital Group has a reputation for strategically acquiring and nurturing a diverse portfolio of companies, primarily in the franchising, business services, consumer, and environmental services sectors. They focus on middle-market investment opportunities, targeting family-owned business transfers, management/corporate buyouts, recapitalizations, going-private transactions, and corporate divestitures.
With more than $37 billion in assets under its management, Roark has established itself as a major player in the private equity space. It has a vast portfolio, including both current investments and former holdings.
- Anytime Fitness: A premier global fitness chain.
- The Cheesecake Factory: A notable player in the full-service dining sector.
- CKE Restaurants: The parent company of fast-food brands such as Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
- Culver’s: Known for its signature ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard.
- Divisions Maintenance Group: A provider of facility maintenance services.
Their strategy often involves the acquisition of well-known brands, strengthening each entity’s market presence. For example, Roark has also played a pivotal role in fast-food empires and brands, such as Arby’s and Dunkin’.
The company’s growth trajectory is marked by significant sales and acquisitions, crafting a broad tapestry of brands. A recent notable move includes the acquisition of a major stake in the sandwich chain Subway, reflecting Roark’s ambition in expanding its reach in the global food industry.
Roark’s Impact on Business Management
With an extensive portfolio, Roark Capital Group has significantly influenced the business management landscape. The firm exhibits a management-friendly approach, emphasizing supportive partnerships with company leadership. Their strategy involves assisting in operational improvements and supporting management in executing long-term growth initiatives.
Reputed for its investment in consumer and business services, they have a penchant for nurturing franchise and franchise-like models, which often translates into scalable success for its investees. For employees within these companies, Roark’s involvement usually signals a commitment to fostering an environment that values development and operational excellence.
The naming inspiration from Ayn Rand’s character in “The Fountainhead” suggests a philosophical alignment with principles of individualism and entrepreneurial spirit. They empower managers, akin to Ayn Rand’s philosophy, to be trailblazers in their respective industries.
Roark’s appointment of Geoff Hill as President manifests its dedication to leadership acumen. Hill’s experience underscores Roark’s commitment to strategic growth, providing management teams with seasoned leadership and industry insight.
Their support aligns with creating robust management structures and instilling a culture of empowerment among business leaders and employees, encouraging innovation and a push toward realizing potential. This approach has helped various Roark-owned companies in achieving sustainable growth and market relevance.
|Strategic partnership and leadership support
|Empowerment and opportunities for growth
|Influence of Ayn Rand’s individualism on business approach
|Guided by experienced figures like Geoff Hill
Roark’s model highlights a nuanced balance between strategic oversight and managerial autonomy, aiming for positive outcomes across its business ventures.
Frequently Asked Questions
These questions address common inquiries about the diverse and significant portfolio of companies managed by Roark Capital Group.
What are some of the notable food chains owned by Roark Capital?
Roark Capital Group’s portfolio includes well-known food chains such as The Cheesecake Factory, CKE Restaurants (parent company of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito & Red Burrito), and has a minority investment in Culver’s.
Is Roark Capital the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts?
No, as of the latest available information, Roark Capital does not own Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts was acquired by Inspire Brands which, although related, is a distinct entity from Roark Capital.
How does Roark Capital’s relationship with Arby’s influence the restaurant chain?
Roark Capital’s acquisition of Arby’s has provided the restaurant chain with strategic investment, allowing it to expand, rebrand, and introduce new menu items, enhancing its market presence.
Can you tell me if Jimmy John’s is under Roark Capital’s portfolio?
Yes, Jimmy John’s is part of Roark Capital’s portfolio. They have been instrumental in scaling the brand since their involvement.
What is the range of industries that Roark Capital invests in?
Roark Capital invests in a wide range of industries with a focus on consumer and business service companies, especially those with franchise and franchise-like business models like fitness centers, food chains, and maintenance services.
What are some recent acquisitions made by Roark Capital?
In recent years, Roark Capital has expanded its portfolio with acquisitions such as Divisions Maintenance Group, a provider of integrated facilities maintenance services, and has notably invested in US Sports Camps.