Cheesecake Factory Inc. announced Monday the closure of a $200 million investment from Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital.
Roark will receive $200 million worth of convertible preferred Cheesecake Factory shares, with the option to convert those shares into a fixed number of common shares. Preferred shares are different from common shares in that they don’t come with voting rights, but they pay out before common shares.
Chief Executive David Overton said Roark’s investment will play a big role in getting Cheesecake Factory through the coronavirus outbreak.
“This transaction not only meaningfully enhances our liquidity position to navigate the near-term COVID-19 landscape and get our affected staff members back to work as soon as practicable, but also importantly, solidifies our ability to manage the business for the long-term for all of our stakeholders once we emerge on the other side of this crisis,” Overton said in a statement.
The cash injection comes at a desperate time for the Calabasas restaurant operator, which last month furloughed 41,000 employees on the U.S. and notified landlords that it wouldn’t pay April rent due to financial complications from the coronavirus. Over the worst stretch of the stock market’s contraction in the first quarter, shares of Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) dropped from $41.72 on Feb. 24 to a low of $15.10 on April 2 – a nosedive of almost 64 percent in just a little more than five weeks.
The investment from Roark didn’t appear to do much for shares of Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), which closed Monday up 21 cents, or about 1 percent, at $18.93 on the Nasdaq.
Wells Fargo Securities LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisors and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to Cheesecake in the transaction. Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal advisor to Roark.