Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub

J. Alexander’s ends Ninety Nine bid

Shareholders reject proposed acquisition

Shareholders of J. Alexander’s Holdings Inc. rejected the company’s proposed acquisition of 99 Restaurants LLC, the company said Thursday, ending the deal announced last August.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based parent to J.Alexander’s, Redlands Grill and Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurants said about 90 percent of outstanding shares were voted, and the election is still to be certified by an independent inspector.

“While we are disappointed that shareholders did not approve this transaction,” said Lonnie Stout, J. Alexander’s CEO and president, in a statement, “we are confident in our overall strategy, our strong culture and our ability to deliver value to shareholders.”

In August, Fidelity National Financial Inc. said its private-equity subsidiary, Fidelity National Financial Ventures LLC, would merge the 106-unit casual-dining Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub with J Alexander’s in a stock deal.

J. Alexander’s said it would acquire 99 Restaurants from Fidelity in an all-stock deal valued at $199 million. J. Alexander’s planned to create a new class of stock to pay for the merger. As a result, Fidelity subsidiaries Fidelity Newport Holdings and Fidelity National Financial Ventures LLC, or FNFV, will get 52.5 percent of J. Alexander’s stock.

Some shareholders had objected, saying the deal was “overly accommodating” to Fidelity’s interests.

J. Alexander’s Holdings operates 19 J. Alexander’s locations, 12 Redlands Grills, 12 Stoney River restaurants and the single-unit Lyndhurst Grill, all of which are upscale casual-dining restaurants. Most of its restaurants are in the Southeast and Midwest.

Also Thursday, J. Alexander’s announced preliminary unaudited sales for the fiscal year ended Dec. 30. Same-store sales increased 3 percent at J. Alexander’s and 3.8 percent at Stoney River, the company said. No same-store sales figures were provided for Redlands Grill.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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