TAMPA Fla. Outback Steakhouse parent OSI Restaurant Partners Inc. is selling an 80-percent stake in the six-unit Lee Roy Selmon’s smokehouse barbecue chain to its NFL Hall of Famer namesake-founder and Selmon’s president, Peter Barli.
OSI on Monday said it would retain a 20-percent stake in the upscale-casual Florida chain but did not give other terms of the spinoff, which is expected to close on Dec. 31, subject to a definitive purchase agreement.
Barli, an 18-year OSI veteran who has led Selmon's since 2003, said he and Selmon anticipate "having 30 restaurants within the next five years, which will include substantial growth outside of Florida."
Initial expansion, however, would include a branch scheduled to open by April in Oldsmar, Fla., followed by more Florida outlets in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Daytona and Naples.
Selmon, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star, launched the chain as a sports-bar restaurant in 2000 and has seen it grow in Florida to include two Tampa area units and branches in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton and Fort Myers. He was quoted by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as saying the deal would be a "transparent transaction."
Barli told the publication that OSI's continuing stake in the chain would maintain its buying clout and mentorship affiliation. The partners indicated that they had approached OSI with the spinoff proposal this summer as a way to spark growth for SelmonÕs, whose parent has been concentrating on a turnaround for its flagship Outback brand.
OSI, the No. 3 casual-dining operator after Darden Restaurants and Brinker International, has more than 1,400 locations in all 50 states and 20 other countries. In addition to the nearly 950-unit Outback chain, its brands include Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.