CKE Restaurants, owner of the US burger brands Carl's Jr and Hardees, has accepted a counter takeover bid by Columbia Lake Acquisitions – an affiliate of Apollo Management. The group was 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 the terms of that deal meant CKE could accept a “superior” offer, subject to certain conditions. It has now terminated its agreement with TLP and and entered into a new merger agreement with Apollo, which has agreed to acquire the company for $12.55 per share in cash.