Brinker Sells Majority Interest in Macaroni Grill


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 18, 2008

A San Francisco-based private equity firm yesterday acquired a majority interest in Romano's Macaroni Grill from Brinker International for $131.5 million in cash.

Mac Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital, purchased an 80.1 percent interest in the casual Italian chain, with Brinker retaining the remaining 19.9 percent. The deal is expected to close by year's end.

With more than 220 restaurants worldwide, Macaroni Grill menus a number of seafood items, including Calamari Fritti, Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms, Seared Sea Scallops, Shrimp Portofino, Shrimp Scampi, Seafood Linguini, Lobster Ravioli, Grilled Halibut and Simple Salmon.

As part of the transaction, Brinker will provide corporate support services for one year, with the option of a one-year extension, and will remain on the board of directors. The Dallas-based casual-dining company operates Chili's Grill & Bar, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Maggiano's Little Italy.

"Golden Gate is well known for partnering with corporations to help grow established consumer and retail brands," says Brinker Chairman and CEO Doug Brooks. "Brinker International will retain a minority ownership position in order to both maximize the value to Brinker's shareholders and contribute to the success of Macaroni Grill as a stand-alone entity."

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