Roark Capital Group
Founder & Managing Partner
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Total assets||$6 billion|
Number of employees
Roark Capital Group is an American private equity firm with over $6.3 billion in equity capital and commitments raised since inception that is focused on leveraged buyout investments in middle-market companies primarily in retail, consumer and business services sectors. Roark has historically focused on the franchise, food and restaurant, specialty retail, environmental services, waste management, and marketing services sectors. The firm is named for Howard Roark, the protagonist in Ayn Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. The firm's name is not meant to connote any particular political philosophy but instead signifies the firm's admiration for the iconoclastic qualities of independence and self-assurance embodied by The Fountainhead's central figure.
The firm, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 2001 by the current Managing Partner, Neal K. Aronson. Senior team members include Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer Paul D. Ginsberg, President Jeffrey J. Keenan, and Managing Directors Timothy Armstrong, Stephen D. Aronson, Toby Chambers, Ezra S. Field, Erik Morris and Steven Romaniello.
Prior to founding Roark Capital Group, Aronson was a co-founder of U.S. Franchise Systems. Roark has raised four institutional private equity funds. The firm raised its first institutional fund in 2005 with $413 million. The firm's second fund was closed in 2008 with $1 billion of investor commitments. The firm's third institutional fund was closed in 2012 with $1.5 billion of investor commitments. The firm's fourth fund was closed in December 2014 with $2.5 billion in investor commitments. Prior to its first fund, Roark raised capital on an as-needed basis, investing approximately $150 million in seven companies from 2001 through 2005.
Roark's current and former portfolio companies include:
- Anytime Fitness
- Atkins Nutritionals
- Batteries Plus
- CKE Restaurants
- Driven Brands
- Focus Brands
- Il Fornaio
- Massage Envy - Acquired 9/27/2012
- McAlister's Deli
- Miller's Ale House
- Naf Naf Grill
- PetValu and Bosley's Petstores
- Pet Supermarket
- Primrose Schools
- Simply Floored
- Solterra Recycling
- The Home Service Store
- Waste Pro
- US Roark Capital Group closes first institutional private equity fund on $413m. AltAssets, March 1, 2005
- Roark closes second private equity fund on $1bn. AltAssets, February 4, 2008
- Equity Firm Buys Controlling Stake In Carvel. New York Times, December 11, 2001
- New Roark Capital Screams Ice Cream. Reuters Buyouts, January 7, 2002 Cached
- Focus Brands To Buy Cinnabon From AFC Enterprises. New York Times, September 9, 2004
- FOCUS Brands Buys Moe's Southwest Grill - Restaurant News - QSR Magazine
- Focus Brands buying Schlotzsky's, Austin Business Journal, November 20, 2006.
- "Atlanta's Roark Capital buys Il Fornaio parent firm". San Francisco Chronicle. 2011-06-14.
- Roark Capital Group (company website)