Financing

Landry’s purchase of Restaurants Unlimited gets court approval

A bankruptcy court approved the $37 million acquisition after no other bids were received.
Photograph: Shutterstock

A federal bankruptcy court in Delaware gave its OK to Landry’s $37 million acquisition of Restaurants Unlimited after no other companies submitted a bid for the casual-dining operator, according to court documents.

The approval paves the way for Landry’s to fold the 35-unit Restaurants Unlimited into its already hefty roster of restaurant chains. Restaurants Unlimited operates several brands, including Kincaid’s and Palomino.

Landry’s, owned by Tilman Fertitta, owns a massive collection of restaurant brands, typically acquired when their prices were low, including several out of bankruptcy.

The company’s brands include Claim Jumper, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., The Oceanaire, Morton’s The Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s and Rainforest Cafe, among others.

And this isn’t the only acquisition for the company this week: Landry’s just agreed to buy Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille from private-equity firm L Catterton.

Restaurants Unlimited filed for bankruptcy protection in July with $39 million in secured debt. The company, which was owned by Sun Capital, had been trying to find a buyer but struggled as its labor costs rose and sales fell, and new units didn’t perform as expected.

Landry’s quickly stepped in as the “stalking horse” bidder, meaning it had the inside track on an acquisition in an auction process.

Because no other bidder stepped forward, however, the court canceled the auction and awarded the company to Landry’s at its $37 million purchase price.

The acquisition is the second for Fertitta this year. His blank check shell company, Landcadia Holdings, acquired delivery service Waitr last year, taking it public. Fertitta is on the hunt for another company with a second such shell company.

A representative for Landry’s had not yet responded to a request for comment on the sale Wednesday.

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