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Tilman Fertitta ups buyout offer for Landry's again

Chairman also gains key shareholder vote on pending deal

Landry's Restaurant Inc. said Monday its chairman, Tilman J. Fertitta, had increased his offer to take the company private and won the support of a crucial hedge-fund shareholder that had opposed the deal.

Fertitta, who has made several attempts over the past two years to purchase the Houston-based company, raised his offer to $24.50 per share, a 50-cent increase from his last offer in May. The transaction is now valued at about $1.4 billion, Landry's said.

Landry's shares closed Monday at $24.53 per share, up 1.7 percent from Friday.

As part of the increased offer, Pershing Square Capital Management, which owns about 9.9 percent of Landry’s shares, agreed to vote in favor of the deal. Led by investor William Ackman, Pershing Square said last November that it opposed the buyout, which at the time included a bid of $14.75 per share.

Fertitta, who is also president and chief executive of the hospitality company, owns about 55 percent of Landry's outstanding shares. He is not voting his shares for or against the proposed going-private deal, the company said.

Landry's said a special committee approved the amended $24.50 offer, though the company can consider competing offers until July 7.

Landry’s owns a wide portfolio of gaming, restaurant and hospitality companies, including Landry’s Seafood House, Rainforest Café, Chart House and Saltgrass Steak House. It acquired the 12-unit Oceanaire Seafood Room in April. The company also owns the Golden Nugget casino hotels in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nev.

In May, Landry’s reported that beneficial one-time items helped it double its first-quarter profit to $14.3 million, or 87 cents a share. Revenue for the March-ended quarter rose less than 1 percent, to $258.7 million. Same-store sales at Landry’s restaurants, which include Landry’s Seafood House, Rainforest Café, Chart House and Saltgrass Steak House, fell 2 percent in the quarter.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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