Fertitta makes another buyout bid for Landry’s

Fertitta makes another buyout bid for Landry’s

HOUSTON Landry’s Restaurants Inc.’s [3] founder Tilman Fertitta, who in early September made yet another bid to take the Houston-based restaurant-hotel-and-gaming company private. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Fertitta, who serves as chairman, president and chief executive of Landry’s, for more than a year has been offering options to take private what he admits is a “complicated company” with restaurants, amusements, casinos and hotels. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Operating most of the enterprise without the scrutiny of the public markets, including the regulatory reporting requirements, would give management more flexibility in working toward a long-range strategy rather than focusing on quarterly profits, experts said. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

“It takes a lot to move the needle on a $1.2 billion company,” Fertitta told the Houston Chronicle after sending his latest offer to Landry’s board. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Fertitta, who already owns about 55 percent of Landry’s shares, sent the company’s board a letter Sept. 4 that offers to take Landry’s private through a share purchase and spinoff of its Saltgrass Steak House subsidiary into a public company called Saltgrass Inc. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Landry’s Saltgrass chain has about 40 units and generated about $222 million in revenue for fiscal 2008, according to company regulatory filings. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

“It is no shocker that Landry’s would consider wiping Saltgrass off its plate, but the bigger question is whether it can sell any other brands or possibly the entire company,” according to Demitri Diakantonis of TheDeal.com . —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Fertitta said in a separate statement that Saltgrass would be “an attractive vehicle” for shareholders, as it would be “a straightforward pure restaurant company with great economics and a much more attractive growth vehicle, given its smaller size.” —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

The board said Fertitta is willing to leave the decision on the proposal up to a vote by shareholders of Landry’s common stock not owned by him. The company faces a lawsuit in Delaware by shareholders after failed buyout attempts last year. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Fertitta also proposed that as part of the latest offer that Landry’s outstanding debt would be refinanced and Saltgrass would hold stand-alone debt “at an appropriate level.” —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Fertitta has increased his holdings in Landry’s to about 9.6 million shares, or about 56 percent of the company. Landry’s current debt totals $930.9 million, as of its latest quarterly report for the three months ended June 30. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Fertitta had offered last year to take Landry’s private in a deal valued near $1 billion when including debt. He initially offered $23.50 a share, and then lowered that to $21 a share and eventually $13.50. However, the company scuttled that plan in January after the Securities and Exchange Commission required financing information from lenders, which the company considered confidential. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Landry’s said disclosure of the lending information would imperil refinancing of what at the time was about $400 million in senior debt. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

In this most recent bid, Landry’s board already had set up on Aug. 14 a special committee to review strategic alternatives for the company, and those options now include the new Fertitta plan. The board hired the firm of Moelis & Co. LLC as its financial adviser. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Diakantonis said, “Strategic buyers could probably cherry-pick some of its smaller brands for a cheap price and just convert the real estate sites and equipment.” —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

He said Landry’s hotel and gaming interests make it harder to find a buyer, as few companies deal in all of the hospitality segments. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Both the restaurant and gaming divisions of Landry’s have been hit by consumers’ recessionary cutbacks. In its most recent reporting period, ended June 30, Landry’s said second-quarter profit fell 40 percent from a year earlier, to $8.3 million from $13.9 million in the same period of 2008. Revenues fell 9 percent, to $282 million from $308.1 million last year. Restaurant and hospitality revenue fell 8 percent to $425.8 million from $464.1 million, and gambling revenue fell 17.5 percent to $112.5 million from $136.3 million. —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw

Landry’s 175 restaurants operate under the Rainforest Cafe, Landry’s Seafood House, Charley’s Crab and The Chart House brands, among others. The company also owns the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nev.— [email protected] [4] —The lure of operating a private company continues to draw