Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group said Monday that it has acquired Miller’s Ale House from owners Jack Miller, KarpReilly and SKM Equity Fund III. No financial terms were disclosed. Also, Phil Hickey, who is currently serving as chairman of the National Restaurant Association, joins Miller’s Ale House as chairman. North Point Advisors and Ropes & Gray served as advisors for Miller’s Ale House and KarpReilly for the transaction while King & Spalding and DLA Piper advised Roark Capital. Based in Jupiter, Fla., Miller’s Ale House is a casual dining restaurant chain.
ATLANTA, July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, announced today that an affiliate had acquired 65 unit Miller’s Ale House, a growing casual dining restaurant chain with industry-leading average unit volumes and approximately $300 million in system-wide sales, from Jack Miller and SKM Equity Fund III, L.P. This investment is Roark’s 26th multi-unit company, 13th restaurant brand, and 2nd Full-Service restaurant concept.
Started in Jupiter, FL in 1988 by husband and wife team Jack and Claire Miller, Miller’s Ale House offers an extensive menu of top-quality, freshly prepared food at attractive prices, over 75 domestic and craft beers, and a large selection of high definition TV’s.
As part of the transaction, restaurant industry veteran and current National Restaurant Association Chairman Phil Hickey will join Miller’s Ale House as Chairman. “Miller’s Ale House has distinguished itself within the Sports Bar and Grill segment,” said Hickey. “Jack Miller and the entire Ale House team have created a truly unique restaurant concept focused on great food, great service and great value.” Hickey has more than 35 years in the restaurant industry and was the recent recipient of the Norman Brinker Award for outstanding leadership in the restaurant industry. Hickey was Chairman of the Board/Chief Executive Officer of RARE Hospitality whose concepts included LongHorn Steakhouse and the Capital Grille, and led the company through its successful sale to Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Jack Miller, Founder and CEO, stated, “I am excited to have Roark acquire Miller’s Ale House. Roark’s culture and strong record of partnering with management to build restaurant brands makes them the right partner for our team, the brand and our loyal and passionate customers. Roark’s experience with restaurant operations will help us continue the success and growth of the Miller’s Ale House brand.”
Allan Karp of KarpReilly, LLC said, “We thoroughly enjoyed our nearly nine year partnership with Jack and his team and are thrilled that they found the right partner in Roark to support their next phase of growth.”
“The Miller’s Ale House acquisition fits Roark’s strategy of acquiring differentiated consumer brands with loyal followings and strong customer value propositions,” said Ezra Field, Managing Director of Roark Capital. “We look forward to working closely with Jack, Phil, Ale House President Ray Holden and the rest of the Miller’s Ale House team to continue to build the brand and business.”
In addition to Miller’s Ale House, Roark affiliates have acquired other restaurant concepts including Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Carvel Ice Cream, Corner Bakery, Il Fornaio, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Schlotzsky’s, and Wingstop. Roark’s portfolio also includes brands such as Atkins Nutritionals, Massage Envy, Batteries Plus, Primrose Schools, FASTSIGNS, and Pet Valu. Roark’s franchise and multi-unit portfolio comprises over 11,000 locations and $11 billion in system-wide revenues across 50 states and 66 countries.
North Point Advisors and Ropes & Gray advised Miller’s Ale House and KarpReilly during the transaction. Roark Capital was represented by King & Spalding and DLA Piper
About Roark Capital Group
Roark Capital Group is an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in franchise, brand management, environmental services and marketing services companies with attractive growth prospects. Roark focuses on middle-market investment opportunities through family-owned business transfers, management and corporate buyouts, recapitalizations, going-private transactions and corporate divestitures. The firm has $3 billion of equity capital under management. For more information, visit www.roarkcapital.com.
About Miller’s Ale House
Miller’s Ale House restaurants provide top-quality food at a great value in a casual neighborhood tavern atmosphere. Their full-service bar features more than 75 beers, plus wine and liquor. Since its inception, the Ale House has continued to develop into a classic restaurant success story, having been named one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Regional Powerhouse Chains.” When an Ale House Restaurant opens its doors, it quickly becomes identified within the local community as the ideal meeting ground for people to come relax, have an enjoyable lunch or dinner, socialize with friends, or watch sporting events. Designed to attract a broad variety of customers, the Ale House menu focuses on Food Quality, Freshness and Value. The menu offers delicious Steaks, fresh Seafood, original Pasta dishes, healthy Salads, robust Sandwiches and homemade Desserts. For more information, visit www.millersalehouse.com.