Benihana restaurant company taken private for $296 million


Benihana Inc., the Japanese-style and sushi restaurant company known for slicing, dicing and frying food in front of diners, will be sold to a private equity group for $296 million.

Angelo, Gordon & Co. plans to pay Benihana shareholders $16.30 per share in cash in a transaction that’s been approved by the Miami-based chain’s board. But Benihana shareholders must also approve the acquisition.

That’s a premium of 46% over the average closing price for the 30 days before March 13, when Benihana first said it was exploring strategic alternatives for its business. Its buyer’s offer is 23% above Monday’s closing price of $13.30.


The company’s stock is soaring in afternoon trading in New York, up 21.1%, or $2.81, to $16.11.

Benihana can keep looking for alternative proposals through July 1. The company has 95 restaurants nationwide as well as 16 franchised locations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.

For the fourth quarter ended April 1, Benihana’s same-store sales were up 4.8% compared to the same period a year earlier; total restaurant sales were up 12.9% to $91.9 million with the benefit of an extra week of reporting.

Benihana’s namesake teppanyaki restaurants made up 68% of total sales for the quarter, while the company’s RA Sushi and Haru concepts made up the rest.


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