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Larry Levy, other players in Del Taco deal sued by investors

An investor in a publicly traded company that last month agreed to buy Mexican-American fast-food chain Del Taco is accusing CEO and Chicago restaurateur Larry Levy and other insiders of limiting the ability of other shareholders to elect directors and influence key transactions.

The shareholder class action, filed yesterday in Cook County Circuit Court, said Levy, his son Ari, stepson Stephen Florsheim and other defendants boosted their combined stake to about 40 percent from less than 20 percent when they caused Levy Acquisition Corp. to sell control of the company to them.

Levy Acquisition declined to comment. An attorney for the plaintiffs did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The Del Taco acquisition by the “blank check company” that Lawrence Levy founded in 2013 is expected to close in June. Founded in 1964, Del Taco operates 547 restaurants in 16 states, most in the West and Southwest. The company said last year that it plans to develop at least eight Del Taco restaurants in the Chicago area starting in 2016. Those restaurants will be franchised and developed by Tasty Group Chicago.

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