Darden has agreed to acquire Yard House USA, Inc.
through an all-cash merger with a total purchase price of $585 million. The restaurants will be added to Darden's growing collection of restaurant brands, which include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, LongHorn Steakhouse and others.
Yard House, which launched its first restaurant in 1996, offers contemporary American cuisine. Yard House also offers a wide range of draft beers and other beverages. Yard Horse was created by restaurant veteran Steele Platt, along with partners Harald Herrmann and Carlito Jocson. The chain has 39 restaurants across 13 states.
Clarence Otis, chairman and CEO of Darden, says, "Steele, Harald and Carlito have created one of the most differentiated and exciting restaurant brands in America today, with average unit volumes and returns on capital that are among the highest in the industry. Guests in a number of different markets are responding to Yard House's unique combination of handcrafted food, premium beers and other beverages, thoughtful soundtracks and elegantly designed restaurants. This combination has established Yard House as a great place for a wide range of occasions."
Darden shares (DRI
) were up slightly on the news of the acquisition.