W.R. Grace & Co. said Tuesday that it plans to launch its previously announced cash tender offer this morning for the 27.5% of Newport Beach-based El Torito Restaurants' shares that it does not already own. New York-based Grace is offering $20.50 per share for the 3.1 million shares outstanding, a total of $63.55 million.
The offer is being made in connection with the leveraged buy-out of Grace's restaurant group, which includes El Torito, by a new corporation formed by current members of the Grace restaurant group management team. The offer and the leveraged buy-out both are expected to be completed in December. At that time, El Torito is to be merged into a subsidiary of the new restaurant company, Grace officials said Tuesday.
The board of directors of El Torito has approved the deal and recommended that shareholders accept the offer.
The offering price is 50 cents higher than Grace had earlier indicated it would pay. In trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, El Torito shares were one of the biggest gainers, advancing $1.125 a share to close at $20.125. The shares have traded between $10.625 and $20.50 during the past 52 weeks.