Fertitta offers to buy Landry’s in $1.3B deal

HOUSTON Tilman J. Fertitta, chairman, president and chief executive of Landry's Restaurants Inc., has offered to buy the casual-dining company in a deal worth $1.3 billion, including the company's debt.

Fertitta, in a letter received Sunday by the board, proposed acquiring all of the company's outstanding common stock for $23.50 per share in cash, representing a 41-percent premium over the Jan. 25 per-share closing price.

Fertitta, who already owns 39 percent of the company, said he was confident that he could obtain all the required financing. He indicated that he would use a significant amount of his own cash.

Landry’s board has established a special committee of independent directors to review the proposal. The special committee is in the process of hiring legal and financial advisers, the company said.

Landry's Restaurants had profit of $505.6 million on revenues of $1.134 billion in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2006. Landry’s owns about 200 restaurants under the Chart House, Rainforest Cafe, Salt Grass Steak House and Landry’s Seafood House casual-dining brands. The company also owns the Golden Nugget Casinos and The Boardwalk Inn entertainment complex in Kemah, Texas.

The company was founded by Fertitta, who was a partner in the first Landry's Seafood House, which opened in 1980.