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Darden completes Yard House acquisition

Darden completes Yard House acquisition

Casual-dining operator closes on $585 million all-cash deal

Darden Restaurants Inc. said Wednesday it has completed the acquisition of Yard House USA Inc. for $585 million in an all-cash transaction, as previously revealed in July.

Irvine, Calif.-based Yard House, with about 40 restaurants in 13 states, will join Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group, which also includes The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V’s.

Orlando, Fla.-based Darden is the nation’s largest casual-dining restaurant chain operator, and parent to the Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse brands. The company’s nearly 2,000 restaurants generate about $8 billion in annual sales, the company said.

Wall Street analysts have praised Darden’s move, saying Yard House would benefit from the company’s support, operational strengths and access to real estate. The beer-focused Yard House also brings a new generation of casual-dining to Darden’s portfolio.

Yard House was sold by private-equity firm TSG Consumer Partners LLC, which had taken a 70-percent stake in the chain in 2007, when it had only 16 locations.

Darden said the transaction price includes about $30 million of cash tax benefits that are expected to be realized in fiscal 2013 and 2014.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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