Less than two years after Burger King was sold to private investors, another Miami-Dade-based national restaurant chain is going private. It was announced today that Angelo, Gordon & Co.'s Private Equity Group will pay $296 million for Benihana, Inc. and take the chain private.
Benihana is, of course, best known for its theatrical chefs who prepare food on a grill at customer's tables. Which, admit it, probably made it one of your favorite restaurants as a kid, if it still isn't. The company also owns the RA Sushi and Haru chains. The Doral-based company owns 95 restaurants, and 16 additional restaurants are operated under franchise agreements.
The private equity firm will pay a price equal to $16.30 a share. The company's stock closed at $13.30 last night. The agreement must be approved by shareholders, and could be approved sometime in the second half of this year according to the South Florida Business Journal.
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"This is a win for our growing base of loyal customers who enjoy our restaurants every day, and for our future customers in markets hungry for the dramatic, high-quality Japanese dining that only our brands can deliver," the company's Chairman, President and CEO Richard Stockinger said in a news release.