Apollo Management, the private equity firm, has been named in media reports as the alternative bidder for CKE Restaurants, owner of US burger brands Carl's Jr and Hardee's. The group is due to be bought by private equity firm Thomas Lee Partners (TLP) in a $928m (£623m) deal that is due to close in the second half of 2010. However under the terms of the deal CKE can accept a “superior” offer, subject to certain conditions. CKE now has until the 27 April to engage in further discussions and negotiations with the officially unnamed party to establish if a deal with them would represent better shareholder value than that tabled by TLP. Nelson Peltz, owner of US restaurant chain Wendy's had emerged as a potential counter-bidder for the group, but had appeared to have ruled itself out of the chase last month. CKE Restaurants saw its profits for the fourth quarter and full-year fall after a year of economic uncertainty and fierce competition. Fourth quarter EBITDA at the company, which has more than 3,000 managed, licensed and franchised restaurants, was $32.7m/£22m ($34.4m) with full-year earnings in the year ended 31 January 2010 at $311.7m ($327.5m).