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Investment Fund Negotiating to Acquire Callender's

April 11, 2006|Jerry Hirsch | Times Staff Writer

An investment fund that owns the Perkins Restaurant & Bakery chain said Monday that it was negotiating to buy Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery, known for its freshly baked pies.

The terms of the possible transaction were being negotiated. Both companies are controlled by investment funds managed by Castle Harlan Inc., a New York-based private equity firm.

Castle Harlan said the transaction would be a stock-for-stock exchange. Restaurant Co., the operator of Perkins, would repay Marie Callender's debt with a $100-million loan secured by the assets of the combined business.

Joseph Trungale, chief executive of Memphis, Tenn.-based Restaurant Co., would become chief executive of the combined company. Phillip Ratner, chief executive of Aliso Viejo-based Marie Callender's, is expected to continue to run that part of the operation.

There are 481 company-owned and franchised Perkins restaurants in 33 states and Canada. Castle Harlan purchased the business in September for $245 million. Marie Callender's has 138 restaurants in 10 states. Castle Harlan purchased it in 1999 for $150 million.

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