CARPINTERIA, Calif. – CKE Inc. is in the early stages of exploring a sale of the company, which owns Carl's Jr. and Hardee’s fast-casual chains, according to Reuters.

CKE, which is backed by Apollo Management Group, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a possible sale after a failed attempt at an initial public offering in August 2012. The company attempted to raise up to $230 million in an IPO, but declined to move ahead with the offering citing market conditions. CKE had planned to use the IPO to expand Hardee's and Carl's Jr. restaurant locations, but completed a $1 billion refinancing instead. Apollo took the company private in 2010 in a deal worth $700 million.

Reuters said CKE could value the company at more than $1.7 billion.

CKE currently has 1,322 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,932 Hardee's restaurants in the United States and abroad.