Roark Capital acquires 390-unit Nothing Bundt Cakes

Franchise Industry Trends and Franchise industry news

What is special about Bundt cake? A lot for private equity firm Roark Capital

The private equity firm Roark Capital, which is the majority owner of Focus Brands (Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon and Jamba) and Inspire Brands (Arby’s, Dunkin’, Sonic Drive-In), has acquired Nothing Bundt Cakes. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners sold the specialty bakery, based in the Dallas suburb of Addison, Texas, after owning it since 2016.

Nothing Bundt Cakes CEO Kyle Smith said Roark Capital “shares our values of transparency and excellence, and has deep expertise with its incredible portfolio of brands,” according to a report in Nation’s Restaurant News. “We look forward to working with them to enhance support for our bakery owners and continue growing our system while maintaining the joy-giving experience our brand has offered guests for nearly 25 years,” Smith added. 

Debbie Shwetz and Dena Tripp founded Nothing Bundt Cakes in 1997. Various cakes, baked on the premises, include tiny Bundtinis and multilevel cakes that serve two dozen people.

When Nothing Bundt Cakes was acquired by Los Angeles-based Levine Leichtman, it had 175 locations. LLCP increased the count to 390 units before the sale to Roark Capital. A report in said that Nothing Bundt Cakes generates $470 million in system sales in the United States and Canada.

In a news release, Smith commended Levine Leichtman for its “valuable contributions and strategic insight over the years. LLCP’s deep expertise in franchising combined with their management-centric approach made for the perfect partner in scaling our business and further developing our one-of-a-kind brand.” 

Matthew Frankel, managing partner of LLCP, said the business “is positioned for continued growth with an incredible culture built around great people. … We wish the team all the best in their next chapter,” as reported in Nation’s Restaurant News.

The Bundt cake bakery is largely franchised, a specialty for Roark Capital, headquartered in Atlanta. Besides the Focus and Inspire restaurant brands, it owns ServiceMaster Brands, an umbrella for a diverse group of home-services businesses, and is a major investor in The Cheesecake Factory. Clay Harmon, managing director with Roark, said that Nothing Bundt Cakes is “a special brand with delicious products that are beloved by guests” and that his company has “great admiration for what Kyle [Smith] and his team have accomplished.”   

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