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L Catterton agrees to buy Del Frisco's for $650 million

 The rib-eye is photographed at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House September 29, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A rib eye at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House. Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

L Catterton agreed to buy Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group for approximately $650 million in cash, or $8 per share.

Why it matters: This reflects how private equity passes around high-end steakhouses like they're a side of lobster mac and cheese.

  • Del Frisco's was once owned by Lone Star. L Catterton once backed the parent company of Fleming's. BRSR owned Ruth's Chris. Both Bunker Hill Capital and TH Lee held Smith & Wollensky. And so on.

Price talk: This is a 22% premium to where Del Frisco's was trading before announcing last December that it would explore strategic alternatives. The deal value is just a slight increase over the $629 million that Lone Stars Funds paid to buy Del Frisco's 13 years ago.

The bottom line: "Del Frisco's has been on the market for much of the year, pushed by activist investors that have soured on the company's performance, particularly since Del Frisco's used debt to pay $325 million for Barteca Restaurant Group, the owner of Barcelona and Bartaco.... The company operates 78 restaurants in its various brands and first-quarter same-store sales rose 1.3% at all of its brands," writes Restaurant Business' Jonathan Maze.

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