Darden Restaurants has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Ruth’s Hospitality Group for $715m.
As per the terms of the deal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Darden will acquire the stake for $21.50 per share in cash.
Ruth’s was established in 1965 and owns the Ruth’s Chris Steak House brand, which has 154 locations around the globe.
Out of 154 units, 80 are company-owned or operated restaurants and 74 are franchised restaurants.
Ruth’s chairperson, president and CEO Cheryl Henry said: “We are excited about the opportunity to join the Darden family. Our strategy and operating philosophy align well with Darden, and we have a strong cultural fit that should ensure a smooth transition.
“This transaction will also provide more opportunities for our team members to develop in their careers as we continue to grow our 57-year-old iconic brand.”
The acquisition is expected to complement Darden’s brand portfolio, which includes Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s.
Darden president and CEO Rick Cardenas said: “Ruth’s Chris is a strong and distinctive brand in the fine dining segment with an impressive history of delivering elevated dining experiences to their loyal guests.
“It fits the criteria we have for adding a brand to our portfolio and supports our winning strategy. Ruth’s Chris is a great complement to our portfolio of brands, and I’m pleased to welcome their nearly 5,000 team members to Darden.”
The deal is expected to be completed in June this year, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Post-acquisition, Cheryl Henry will continue as Ruth’s Chris president and will report to Rick Cardenas.