DineEquity sells 26 Applebee's units to franchisee

GLENDALE Calif. Applebee’s parent DineEquity Inc. has completed the sale of 26 company-owned restaurants to Southern California franchisee Apple American Group LLC for an estimated $27 million in after-tax cash that will be applied toward the company’s $350 million of consolidated debt, officials said Tuesday.

DineEquity also said it has secured an extension to Aug. 31 on its debt payment, which previously was due June 30.

Earlier this year, the company sold and leased back 181 company-owned Applebee’s [2], which generated about $303 million in after-tax proceeds and tax benefits that helped reduce the debt load. Company officials said they expect to meet the remaining $20 million balance of the note obligation by the Aug. 31 due date, in part with the anticipated sale of Applebee’s Restaurant Support Center in Lenexa, Kan. That transaction is expected to generate about $40 million.

DineEquity Inc. franchises or operates about 3,300 restaurants under the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP brand names.