Darden Pete bought Chris Steak from Roth for about $715 million

Darden Restaurants acquired Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain for about $715 million.

The original Chris Steak House on Broad Street in New Orleans opened in 1927, and was acquired by Ruth Viertel in 1965. The company has 154 locations worldwide, including 80 company-owned or operated restaurants and 74 franchised restaurants.

The company, now based in Winter Park, Florida, has suffered as most restaurants have during the pandemic, closing 23 restaurants in early 2020 and announcing that executives were being paid less.

Shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. have been recovered. , which owned the restaurants, within a year of the outbreak. Shares stalled before the market opened and jumped more than 30% at the opening bell.

Darden, also based in Florida, is acquiring all outstanding shares of Ruth’s for $21.50 per share, a 34% premium.

“Ruth’s Chris is a strong and distinguished brand in the fine dining segment with an impressive history of providing fine dining experiences to its loyal guests,” Darden CEO Rick Cardenas said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

The restaurant company owns Darden Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, and Eddie V’s.

Darden shares were flat on Wednesday.

The deal, which was unanimously approved by both companies’ boards, is expected to close next month.

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