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Roark Capital Group is an American private equity firm with over US$11.0 billion in equity capital raised since inception that is focused on leveraged buyout investments in middle-market companies primarily in the franchise/multi-unit, restaurant and food, retail healthcare and business 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 central figure in The Fountainhead.[1]

Roark Capital Group
Industry Private equity
Founded 2001; 17 years ago (2001)
Founder Neal Aronson (Founder & Managing Partner)
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Products Leveraged buyout
AUM US$11.0 billion
Number of employees



The firm, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 2001 by the current Managing Partner, Neal K. Aronson. Senior team members include President Paul D. Ginsberg, Senior Managing Director and Co-Chief Investment Officer Ezra S. Field, Senior Managing Director and Co-Chief Investment Officer Erik O. Morris, and Managing Directors Timothy Armstrong, Stephen D. Aronson, Geoff Hill, Matthew Kaelin, and Steven Romaniello.

Prior to founding Roark Capital Group, Aronson was a co-founder of U.S. Franchise Systems. Roark currently is investing out of its fifth institutional private equity fund.


Roark's current and former portfolio companies include:

Current investmentsEdit

Former investmentsEdit


  1. ^ "About Our Name". Roark Capital Group. Retrieved 2017-05-25. 
  2. ^ Holzman, Paula (October 8, 2010). "Atlanta franchisor to acquire Auntie Anne's". Central Penn Business Journal. 
  3. ^ "Equity Firm Buys Controlling Stake In Carvel". The New York Times. December 11, 2001. 
  4. ^ "New Roark Capital Screams Ice Cream". Buyouts. Reuters. January 7, 2002. Archived from the original on 2011-09-11. 
  5. ^ Focus Brands To Buy Cinnabon From AFC Enterprises. The New York Times, September 9, 2004
  6. ^ "QSR magazine". 
  7. ^ Focus Brands buying Schlotzsky's, Austin Business Journal, November 20, 2006.
  8. ^ "Atlanta's Roark Capital buys Il Fornaio parent firm". San Francisco Chronicle. 2011-06-14. 
  9. ^ Hammond, Ed; Giammona, Craig (28 November 2017). "Roark Agrees to $2.4 Billion Buffalo Wild Wings Deal". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  10. ^ "Roark Capital Group Acquires Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q" (PDF). 2017-07-10. 
  11. ^ "Roark Capital Buys Majority Stake in Jimmy John's". The Wall Street Journal. 2016-09-08. 

External linksEdit