Mama Leone's, other restaruants sold to Japanese company

NEW YORK -- Restaurant Associates Industries Inc., the operator of several landmark New York eateries including Mama Leone's, said Wednesday it has agreed to sell a majority stake to a Japanese food service company for a total of $105 million.

Jim Beltrame, executive vice president of The Restaurant Associates, said Kyotaru Co. Ltd. has agreed to pay $16 million for an 85 percent equity position in the company and will take over Restaurant Associates' debt of $89 million.


Restaurant Associates currently operates 120 restaurants, including New York's SeaGrill at Rockefeller Plaza and The Brasserie. The company also provides food service for United Nations headquarters in New York, said Beltrame.

Restaurant Associates also operates the Acapulco Mexican restaurant chain in California and 26 Charlie Brown's restaurants in New Jersey.

Six top executives of Restaurant Associates, which underwent a management buyout in 1988, are to retain a 15 percent position in the company, Beltrame said.

Kyotaru has 780 restaurants in Japan. In California, Kyotaru has 10 El Paso Cantina Restaurants, 50 Arby's fast-food outlets and several Japanese and seafood restaurants.

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