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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns a B2 CFR to acquirer of CKE Restaurants; outlook stable

Global Credit Research - 13 Jul 2010

New York, July 13, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service today assigned a Ba2 rating to Columbia Lake Acquisition Corp's (Columbia) $100 million guaranteed 1st lien revolving credit facility and a B2 to the company's $600 million guaranteed senior secured 2nd lien notes. Moody's also assigned Columbia a B2 Corporate Family Rating (CFR) and Probability of Default Rating (PDR) and affirmed its SGL-2 Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating. Moody's will also change the name of Columbia to CKE Restaurants, Inc. (CKE) to reflect the closure of the acquisition.

Proceeds from the $600 million secured note offering along with approximately $460 million in common equity contributed by Apollo Management (Apollo) was used to fund the acquisition of CKE. Upon consummation of the acquisition, Columbia Lake Acquisition, Corp. will be merged with and into CKE, with CKE being the surviving entity.

The B2 CFR reflects Columbia's weak debt protection metrics and Moody's expectation that the company's operating performance will continue to be negatively impacted by historically high unemployment and intense competition. The ratings also reflect the company's reasonable scale, multiple concepts which add diversity, diversified day part which boosts returns on invested capital, and good liquidity.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's view that Columbia's debt protection metrics should remain near current ranges despite persistently soft consumer spending trends due in part to the company's continued focus on cost reductions. The outlook also reflects Moody's expectation that the company will maintain good liquidity.

New ratings assigned:

Corporate Family Rating at B2

Probability of Default Rating at B2

$100 million guaranteed 1st lien senior secured revolving credit facility due 2015 at Ba2 (LGD 1, 4%)

$600 million guaranteed 2nd lien senior secured notes due 2018 at B2 (LGD 3, 49%)

Rating affirmed;

SGL-2 Speculative Grade liquidity rating

The ratings outlook is stable

The principal methodology used in rating Columbia Lake Acquisition Corp. (to be renamed CKE Restaurants, Inc.) was Moody's Global Restaurant Industry Methodology, published in June 2008 and available on www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.

The last rating action occurred on June 18, 2010, when Moody's assigned initial provisional ratings to Columbia Lake Acquisition Corp. -- Corporate Family Rating and Probability of Default Rating of (P)B2 with a stable outlook.

Columbia Lake Acquisition, Corp. (to be renamed CKE Restaurants, Inc.) is in the process of acquiring CKE Restaurants, Inc., which owns, operates, and franchises, approximately 3,146 quick-service restaurants (QSR) under the brand names Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. Annual revenues are approximately $1.4 billion.

New York
William V. Fahy
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Peter H. Abdill, CFA
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's assigns a B2 CFR to acquirer of CKE Restaurants; outlook stable
No Related Data.
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