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Ruth’s Chris ends W. Coast franchising via 3-unit deal

HEATHROW, FLA. Ruth’s Chris Steak House Inc., operator or franchisor of 105 upscale restaurants, has reached a “definitive” agreement to acquire three franchised branches in Seattle, Bellevue, Wash., and Portland, Ore., for a total of $13.25 million, to be financed through the company’s revolving credit facility. —

The deal, expected to close in July, would give the franchisor control of all the chain’s West Coast restaurants and restrains the former franchise operators under noncompete agreements, Heathrow-based Ruth’s Chris indicated. —

Chairman, president and chief executive Craig S. Miller said the three branches being acquired generated average annual sales of $5.3 million, and their purchase would open their respective markets to additional corporate-unit development. —

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