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Bankruptcy court approves Claim Jumper sale

Landry's bid for casual-dining chain OK'd as scheduled

A U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware approved the sale of the Claim Jumper casual-dining chain to Landry’s Restaurants Inc. on Tuesday.

Anita-Marie Laurie, a spokeswoman for Claim Jumper, said Landry’s’ bid, valued at $76.6 million — including $48.3 million in cash, $23.3 million in assumed liabilities and $5 million in letters of credit — was approved by the court as scheduled.

Landry’s’ bid was deemed the highest and best in a bankruptcy auction last week, beating offers from a private-equity investor as well as a group that included the 45-unit chain’s founder, Craig Nickoloff.

Irvine, Calif.-based Claim Jumper filed for Chapter 11 on Sept. 10. At the time the company said it planned to sell most of its assets to Private Capital Partners, an affiliate of Los Angeles-based investment firm Canyon Capital Advisors LLC, although competing bids would be considered.

Private Capital Partners later was designated the stalking horse bidder with an offer totaling $56.15 million, including cash of $27 million and assumption of liabilities.

Landry’s’ final offer came in significantly higher. Claim Jumper now joins the Houston-based company’s portfolio, which includes more than 200 restaurants. Among Landry’s other concepts are Rainforest Café, Saltgrass Steak House and Landry’s Seafood House. Earlier this year Landry’s Restaurants bought the Oceanaire Seafood Room chain out of bankruptcy.

In October, Landry’s chief executive and founder Tilman Fertitta completed a $1.4 billion buyout of the company, which he had been trying to take private for nearly two years.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].

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