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Landry’s Fertitta buys more stock ahead of buyout

HOUSTON Tilman Fertitta, chairman and chief executive of Landry’s Restaurants Inc., purchased more than 1 million shares of Landry’s common stock in various transactions ending last week, to bring his total stake to 8.6 million shares, or 53 percent of the company.

Many of the newly acquired shares cannot be voted in favor of his buyout offer for the casual-dining and gaming company, according to filings with securities regulators. His recently acquired holdings will be used as equity to exchange with the new parent company, Fertitta Holdings Inc. Fertitta has offered $13.50 per share for all outstanding shares of the company in a going-private buyout offer that the company's board of directors approved in October. Shareholders still have to approve the deal, which is valued at more than $1 billion when including debt. A shareholder meeting is expected to take place this month, and the buyout is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2009.  

Landry's Restaurants operates about 179 restaurants under various brands including Landry's Seafood House, Chart House, Rainforest Cafe and Salt Grass Steak House. It also owns gaming and entertainment venues.

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