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Fertitta ups stake in McCormick & Schmick’s

Landry's CEO now holds 9.9% of company's shares

Landry’s Restaurants Inc. chief executive Tilman Fertitta recently bought a larger share in McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc., fueling speculation of yet another buyout.

Fertitta, whose company acquired both the Claim Jumper and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. chains in recent weeks, has increased his holding in Portland, Ore.-based McCormick & Schmick's by 150,248 shares since March 2009, according to filings made Nov. 24 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of the filing, he owns 1,476,281 shares in the 96-unit casual dining chain, or 9.9 percent of shares outstanding, valued at about $4.5 million.

Fertitta and McCormick & Schmick's did not return calls requesting comment.

For its most recent quarter ended Sept. 25, McCormick & Schmick's reported net income of $1 million, or 7 cents per share, which was flat from a year ago. Revenue declined 1.3 percent to $84.9 million. Systemwide same-store sales dropped 4.6 percent, reflecting a traffic decline of 8.7 percent partially offset by a 4.1-percent increase in net pricing and product mix, the company said.

McCormick & Schmick’s operates 89 restaurants in the United States, and another seven in Canada under The Boathouse brand.

Landry’s Restaurants Inc., which Fertitta took private in October, has been on a buying spree this year. The Houston-based company acquired the 32-unit Bubba Gump, another seafood-based casual dining chain, in early November. Just days earlier, it also picked up the 45-unit Claim Jumper casual-dining chain out of bankruptcy for $76.6 million in cash and liabilities.

In April, Landry’s acquired the 12-unit Oceanaire Seafood Room, another high-end seafood concept, out of bankruptcy in a $23.6 million deal.

Landry’s owns multiple concepts, including Rainforest Café, Saltgrass Steak House, Landry’s Seafood House, Charley’s Crab and The Chart House chains, as well as Vic & Anthony’s, Brenner’s Steakhouse, Grotto, LaGriglia, Pesce and Willie G’s. The company also owns the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casinos in Nevada and other hotel and resort properties.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated earnings for McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants Inc. It has been corrected to say that the company posted net income of $1 million, or 7 cents per share, for the third quarter-ended Sept. 25, which was flat from a year ago.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].

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