Darden completes tender offer for Rare

ORLANDO Fla. Darden Restaurants Inc. on Monday said it had completed its tender offer for Rare Hospitality International Inc., giving the industry’s largest casual-dining operator control of 292 LongHorn Steakhouses and 29 upscale Capital Grille restaurants that post annual sales of about $1 billion.

Darden, the Orlando-based parent of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster brands, said Oct. 1 it had paid $38.15 per share in cash for more than 90 percent of the outstanding shares of Atlanta-based Rare, and said the remaining shares would be acquired at the same price through a "short-form" merger.

Darden disclosed in August that it intended to buy Rare, in a deal valued at $1.4 billion.

After the merger is fully concluded, Rare will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Darden, according to the owner-operator of 1,397 restaurants, including the Smokey Bones, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 chains. Darden, which posted revenues of $5.6 billion last year, plans to sell the 73-unit Smokey Bones.