Landry’s agrees to Fertitta’s $1.3B buyout

HOUSTON Landry's Restaurants Inc. said today that it has accepted a $1.3 billion buyout offer from its chief executive and founder, Tilman J. Fertitta, who already owns 39 percent of the casual-dining, gaming and entertainment-venue company.

Fertitta has created a private-equity firm called Fertitta Holdings Inc. to buy Landry’s for $21 a share, which is about 25 percent over Friday’s closing price of $16.79. The company valued the share purchase at about $415 million. Fertitta also will assume about $885 million in debt.

Fertitta originally had offered $23.50 a share, but he lowered his offer to $21 in April, citing “significantly worsened” credit markets.

Fertitta said he has received debt-financing commitments from Jefferies Funding LLC, Jefferies & Co. Inc., Jefferies Finance LLC and Wells Fargo Foothill LLC to fund the deal.

Landry’s board will continue to solicit bids for 45 days under the standard “go-shop” provision. The company also will stop paying its regular quarterly dividend of 5 cents per share while the deal is pending.

Landry’s said it expected the deal to be completed in about four months.

The company operates 179 casual-dining restaurants and two Golden Nugget casino-hotels as well as other entertainment venues. Its restaurant concepts include Landry’s Seafood House, Chart House, Rainforest Cafe and Salt Grass Steak House.