Benihana to be taken private in $296 million deal

Associated Press + More

MIAMI (AP) — Restaurant chain Benihana Inc. has agreed to be taken private in a deal worth about $296 million.

Benihana, which serves Japanese food and sushi and has 95 restaurants, had announced in March that it was exploring strategic options, including a potential sale.

The company said Tuesday that buyer is Angelo, Gordon & Co.'s Private Equity Group.

Under terms of the deal, Benihana stockholders will get $16.30 per share, a 23 percent premium to its Monday closing price of $13.30.

Benihana's board has approved the transaction, but it needs the approval of a majority of the Miami company's shareholders. The company and its advisors are allowed to actively seek out and consider other proposals from third parties during the next 40 days, through July 1.

Benihana outlets include 62 namesake restaurants, eight Haru sushi restaurants and 25 RA Sushi restaurants.

Shares of Benihana jumped $2.82, or 21.2 percent, to close at $16.12 Tuesday. The stock hit a 52-week high of $16.59 per share in early May. It traded as low $6.76 per share last August.

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