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Ruth's Chris buys back three units for $13M

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 and 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, will 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 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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