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Benihana Going Private in Buyout Deal

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Benihana, the Miami-based interactive dining chain, is being acquired by private equity group Angelo, Gordon, and Co.'s., in a deal that will take the publicly-traded restaurant company private.

According to NASDAQ.com, Angelo, Gordon, and Co.'s will pay $16.30 per share in cash, approximately $296 million, to complete the transaction. Benihana stock is currently traded on the NASDAQ exchange, and closed at $16.13 per share yesterday.

The deal is still subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and Benihana has until July 1 to consider any other third-party offers, but analysts state that a deal is imminent. Benihana has been considering buyers since 2010.

In 1964, Rocky Aioki opened the first Benihana of Tokyo in New York

City. The restaurant, which featured teppan-yaki cooking by chefs

trained in dazzling knife skills, struggled for the first six months

until a positive review by the New York Herald-Tribune made it popular.

Benihana has over 50 locations in the United States, Latin America, and

the Caribbean, with three Miami-area restaurants. Benihana also owns the

RA Sushi and Haru restaurant chains. Kevin Aioki, the eldest son of Benihana's founder, owns the popular Doraku Sushi chain. Benihana sold Doraku to Kevin in 2006.

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