Darden airs acquisition check list, and ‘franchisor’ could be on it

ORLANDO Darden Restaurants Inc. might be shopping soon for a restaurant chain in the 100-unit range, and the company has not ruled out candidates that franchise, according to analyst and press reports on the Red Lobster and Olive Garden parent’s annual investor conference here.

Attendees of the Thursday and Friday event said Darden chief executive Clarence Otis revealed under questioning that the casual-dining powerhouse would consider buying a midsized chain to

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