Apollo’s CKE Said to Plan $1.05 Billion Asset-Backed Transaction

Apollo Global Management LLC’s CKE Restaurants Inc., the parent of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, is marketing $1.05 billion of bonds linked to the company’s assets, including franchise fees.

This is the first so-called whole-business, asset-backed offering for CKE, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified because terms aren’t public. Barclays Plc is arranging the sale for the Carpinteria, California-based company.

Companies have sold about $50 billion in bonds tied to consumer and business borrowing this year, with deals linked to automobiles accounting for $21 billion in sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Issuance of deals that reference unusual collateral such as franchisee fees, wireless cellphone towers and timeshare payments are poised to climb as investors seek out riskier assets with the Federal Reserve holding its benchmark lending rate close to zero into a fifth year.

American Tower Corp., the owner and operator of wireless and broadcast communications sites, sold $1.8 billion of securities tied to wireless towers on March 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 10-year portion of the sale ranked AAA priced to yield 3.089 percent, the data show.

Ford Motor Co. sold 2.71-year, BBB-rated bonds linked to auto debt, the largest part of asset-backed market, to yield 1.797 percent on March 12, Bloomberg data show.

Esoteric Deals

Other companies that have tapped the asset-backed market to fund their businesses with transactions similar to CKE’s include Sonic Corp. and Domino’s Pizza Inc., Bloomberg data show.

So-called esoteric asset-backed deals, which are offerings linked to collateral outside of the auto loans, credit-cards and student loans that have traditionally accounted for the bulk of sales, gained attention in 1997 when banks arranged $55 million of so-called Bowie Bonds, tied to royalties from rock icon David Bowie. Other musicians that have tapped the asset-backed market for cash include James Brown and the Isley Brothers, according to Moody’s.

Columbia Lake Acquisition Holdings Inc., an affiliate of Leon Black’s Apollo, acquired CKE in July 2010, according to a statement.

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