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Fertitta bids $137.3 million for McCormick & Schmick’s

Tilman J. Fertitta and his Landry’s Restaurants Inc. subsidiary on Thursday officially placed a bid of $137.3 million for McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc., noting the chilly reception the offer had received from the 96-unit upscale casual operator.

Fertitta commenced, through the LSRI Holdings Inc. subsidiary, his offer of $9.25 a share, which will allow shareholders to tender their shares through May 6. He already owns about 10.1 percent of shares in the Portland, Ore.-based McCormick & Schmick’s.

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In a statement Thursday, the Houston-based LSRI Holdings said, “While it is Fertitta’s strong preference to engage in mutually beneficial discussions with MSSR, neither management nor the MSSR board has responded to Fertitta’s communications.”

McCormick & Schmick’s on Tuesday, a day after Fertitta announced his intention to acquire the chain, said in a statement: “McCormick & Schmick’s did not solicit such an offer and has had no discussions with Mr. Fertitta concerning it. If the offer is formally made, the McCormick & Schmick's board of directors will respond appropriately in accordance with its fiduciary duties. The board has made no decision at this point whether to initiate or enter into discussions with Mr. Fertitta or any other party or to consider any sale or other strategic transaction concerning the company.”

In formalizing the offer Thursday, Fertitta said in prepared remarks: “We believe our offer price of $9.25 per share in cash would deliver substantial, immediate and highly certain value to MSSR’s stockholders. The board’s initial response to our intended tender offer and its unwillingness to engage in mutually beneficial discussions for a negotiated transaction is not in the best interests of stockholders.”

Fertitta’s offer of $9.25 was a 30-percent premium over the $7.21 per share price at the close of trading last Friday, before his announcement. On Wednesday, MSSR shares closed at $9.47.

Fertitta, the founder and chief executive of Landry’s, which he took private in a $1.4 billion deal last year, has acquired a number of restaurant chains since then. Landry’s bought the 12-unit Oceanaire Seafood Room and 45-unit Claim Jumper concepts in bankruptcy court deals and purchased the 32-unit Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Landry’s also owns such brands as Chart House, Landry’s Seafood, Rainforest Café and the Golden Nugget Hotels and Casinos.

McCormick & Schmick’s owns 89 restaurants in the United States and seven locations in Canada under The Boathouse brand.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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