Landry’s to Acquire McCormick & Schmick’s

Landry’s Restaurants CEO Tilman Fertitta announced on Tuesday that the company has agreed to acquire McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants for $8.75 a share. Already owning a 10 percent stake in the company, Fertitta let his intentions to acquire the seafood chain as early as June, proclaiming he would end up owning the company in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. McCormick & Schmick’s owns and operates more than 80 restaurants across 26 states, generating more than $300 million in annual revenue.

Fertitta said in a statement that he has been a fan of McCormick & Schmick’s for many years. He noted that the chain fell victim to a need to expand and opened restaurants in a number of markets more vigorously impacted by the economic downturn than others. However, Fertitta claims that with Landry’s relative financial strength and resources the chain will have all the support it needs to come back stronger than ever.

Interestingly, the M&S board of directors turned down an earlier takeover bid from Landry’s which was worth $9.25 a share. At the same time, the board also adopted a shareholder rights plan designed to make a hostile takeover more difficult and expensive for the bidder. The following month, the board decided to put the publicly-traded company up for sale, but indicated it was still not interested in Fertitta’s offer at that time. It is unclear what has changed between then and now that caused the board’s change of heart.