ORLANDO, FLA.— Darden Restaurants, Inc. has agreed to acquire Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc.
Under the agreement, Darden will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Ruth’s Hospitality for $21.50 per share. The equity value is approximately $715 million.
Ruth’s, owner and operator of Ruth’s Chris Steak House or Ruth’s Chris, was founded in New Orleans in 1964 by Ruth Fertel. The company has 154 locations and 80 company-owned restaurants and 74 franchised restaurants.
“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,” said Rick Cardenas, president and chief executive officer of Darden. “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 transaction is expected to be completed in June, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.