Darden Restaurants to Acquire Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen for $780 Million

by Katie Sloan

Orlando, Fla. — Darden Restaurants has agreed to purchase Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen for $780 million in an all-cash transaction.

Cheddar’s was founded in 1979 in Arlington, Texas, and now has 165 locations, including 140 owned and 25 franchised, across 28 states with average annual restaurant volumes of $4.4 million.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be a part of Darden,” says Ian Baines, CEO and president of Cheddar’s.“Our operating philosophy and values are similar. Additionally, Darden’s expertise will enable us to further capitalize on our growth potential.”

Baines will remain as president of Cheddar’s. He will report to Gene Lee, Darden’s president and CEO. The transaction is expected to be complete in Darden’s fiscal 2017 fourth quarter. It is subject to customary closing conditions.

“Cheddar’s is a great fit in the Darden portfolio because it complements our existing brands,” says Lee. “This addition will also enable Darden to further strengthen two of our most important competitive advantages: our significant scale and our extensive data and insights.”

Orlando, Florida-based Darden Restaurants Inc. owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants. Darden’s portfolio currently includes Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s.

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