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Investor buys bigger stake in O’Charley’s

NASHVILLE Tenn. Activist hedge fund Crescendo Partners upped its aggregate holding in casual-dining company O’Charley’s Inc. to 10.2 percent of the restaurant company’s outstanding shares.

In a filing made late Wednesday with federal securities regulators, Crescendo said it has spent a total of $34.2 million during the past three months to acquire its 2.27 million shares in O’Charley’s. Its previous filing in November revealed an 8.9-percent stake in the restaurant company and said there was a possibility that the New York-based fund could take further action with O’Charley’s, including buying more shares, seeking board seats or pushing for changes in capitalization or ownership.

O’Charley’s operates or franchises 363 restaurants under the O’Charley’s, Ninety Nine Restaurants and Stoney River Legendary Steaks brands. Like many of its casual-dining peers, the company has been struggling with slumping profit, sales and guest traffic. Its stock price has fallen 29.5 percent this year, through Nov. 30. Crescendo’s latest purchases were made at per-share prices ranging between $14.14 and $16.05 per share. 

O’Charley’s stock price on Wednesday went up 3.21 percent to close at $14.80.

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