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Champps deal falls through

LITTLETON Colo. Champps Entertainment Inc. said Thursday its letter of intent to undertake a $75 million management-led buyout sponsored by an affiliate of private-equity firm Kinderhook Industries LLC has expired.

The company did not say why the deal fell through, but it was contingent upon typical due diligence, the obtaining of debt financing by Kinderhook and shareholder approval.

Champps, which operates or franchises 61 namesake dinnerhouse units, said that a special committee of its board of directors continues to pursue a sale of the restaurant chain and its assets, and that it has received "indications of interest" from an unspecified number of potential purchasers.

In January, Champps had agreed to sell the company for about $75 million, plus debt, to an investment group led by Champps chairman and chief executive Michael O'Donnell, chief financial officer David Womack, and an affiliate of New York-based Kinderhook. At the time, Champps had said it would remain a public company after the sale, and would use the proceeds to purchase another business. It did not specify if that acquisition would be in the restaurant industry.

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