Greenwich-based private equity firms L Catterton and Oak Investment Partners have agreed to sell the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen chain to Darden Restaurants Inc. in a $780 million all-cash transaction. The deal is expected to close in May.
Cheddar’s, based in Irving, Texas, has 165 locations in 28 states and has average annual restaurant volumes of $4.4 million. Darden, headquartered in Orlando, owns such other casual dining chains as Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Capital Grille and Yard House. Cheddar’s CEO Ian Baines will remain as president and report to Darden President and CEO Gene Lee.
L Catterton and Oak Investment Partners acquired Cheddar’s from Brazos Restaurant Holding Co. LLC in 2006 for an undisclosed amount.