Darden Restaurants To Acquire Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen for $780 Million

Orlando, Fla. — Darden Restaurants, Inc. has agreed to acquire Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen (Cheddar's) for $780 million in an all-cash transaction. Cheddar's will add to Darden's portfolio of differentiated brands, which currently includes Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V's.

Cheddar's was founded in 1979 in Arlington, Texas, and features high-quality, made-from-scratch food. Today, Cheddar's has 165 locations, including 140 owned and 25 franchised, across 28 states with significant growth opportunities in new and existing markets and average annual restaurant volumes of $4.4 million.

Ian Baines, CEO of Cheddar's, will remain president of Cheddar's and report to Gene Lee, Darden’s president and CEO. The completion of the transaction is expected to occur in Darden's fiscal 2017 fourth quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.

"Cheddar's is an undisputed casual dining value leader with broad appeal and strong average restaurant volumes," says Lee. "Cheddar's is a great fit in the Darden portfolio because it complements our existing brands. This addition will also enable Darden to further strengthen two of our most important competitive advantages: our significant scale and our extensive data and insights."

Adds Baines: "We are excited about the opportunity to be a part of Darden. Our operating philosophy and values are similar and we believe this transaction provides a great opportunity for our team members to continue to grow and develop in their careers. Additionally, Darden's expertise will enable us to further capitalize on our growth potential."

Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants, Inc. owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants. For more information, visit www.darden.com.

SOURCE: Darden Restaurants, Inc.

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