YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Benihana accepts $296-million offer

The Japanese-style restaurant will be sold to the private equity group Angelo, Gordon & Co., which will pay $16.30 a share in cash. Shareholders must still OK deal.

May 23, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

Benihana Inc., the Japanese-style and sushi restaurant chain known for slicing, dicing and frying food in front of diners, has accepted an offer to be sold to a private equity group for $296 million.

Angelo, Gordon & Co. plans to pay Benihana shareholders $16.30 a share in cash in a transaction that's been approved by the Miami-based chain's board. Benihana shareholders must also approve the acquisition.

The price is a premium of 46% over the average closing price for the 30 days before March 13, when Benihana first said it was exploring strategic alternatives for its business. The offer is 23% above Monday's closing price of $13.30.

Benihana shares were up 21.2%, or $2.82, to $16.12 in trading Tuesday.

Benihana can keep looking for alternative proposals through July 1.

The company has 95 restaurants nationwide as well as 16 franchised locations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.

For the fourth quarter ended April 1, Benihana's same-store sales were up 4.8% compared with the same period a year earlier; total restaurant sales were up 12.9% to $91.9 million with the benefit of an extra week of reporting.

Benihana's namesake teppanyaki restaurants made up 68% of total sales for the quarter, while the company's RA Sushi and Haru concepts made up the rest.

Los Angeles Times Articles