Darden to purchase Rare Hospitality in $1.4B deal

ORLANDO Fla. Two restaurant industry giants, Darden Restaurants Inc. and Rare Hospitality International Inc., said late Thursday they had agreed to a merger in which Darden will purchase the steakhouse operator for about $1.4 billion, including debt, making it one of the largest strategic purchases in the industry.

Darden plans to buy out Atlanta-based Rare for $38.15 per share in cash, a 39-percent premium over Rare’s average closing stock price for the past

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