Benihana today announced the completion of its acquisition by funds advised by Angelo, Gordon & Co. Each outstanding share of Benihana common stock was acquired for $16.30 per share in cash, valuing the acquisition at approximately $295 million.
“The Benihana management team is excited to have access to the substantial resources of Angelo Gordon as we work to build on the recent successes of our three brands. We are energized by our plans to accelerate new unit growth, enabling us to take the outstanding food and unique dining experience of our Benihana Teppanyaki, RA Sushi and Haru concepts to more and more guests,” said Richard Stockinger, Benihana’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Benihana is an operator of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants with 95 restaurants nationwide, including 62 Benihana restaurants, eight Haru sushi restaurants and 25 RA Sushi restaurants. In addition, 16 franchised Benihana restaurants are operating in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. The company is led by Richard Stockinger, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and is based in Miami, FL (www.benihana.com).
“The iconic nature of the Benihana brand and the excellent positioning of RA Sushi and Haru in the expanding Japanese cuisine and sushi categories are what interested us in the company,” said Richard Leonard, a Managing Director at Angelo Gordon. “Richard Stockinger and the management team have led an impressive turnaround in all areas of the company in the last three years, and we believe the brands are now well prepared for substantial unit growth. We hope that developers across the country will consider the drawing power of the new prototype Benihana restaurant or the key demographic appeal of the vibrant RA Sushi environment. We also expect that the modern Japanese cuisine and urban-centric atmosphere of Haru has growth potential in major metropolitan markets outside of its current footprint in New York City and Boston.”
Angelo Gordon’s Private Equity Group is currently investing its fourth fund, which closed at the end of 2008. The team makes control investments with deal sizes ranging from $50 million to $500 million. Sectors of interest include financial services, consumer/retail, and healthcare. Angelo, Gordon & Co. was founded in 1988 and has approximately $24 billion under management. The firm is headquartered in New York, with associated offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Sydney (www.angelogordon.com).