October 12, 2011 / 10:36 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Darden buys two seafood chains

* Buys Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille

* Upscale chains will be part of Darden’s Specialty group

* All-cash deal expected to close by end of year

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Red Lobster parent Darden Restaurants Inc said on Wednesday it has struck a deal to buy the upscale Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille chains from Eddie V’s Restaurants Inc for $59 million in cash.

The deal for eight Eddie V’s restaurants and three Wildfish Seafood restaurants is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

The restaurants included in the sale are in Arizona, California and Texas.

Darden said the chains would become part of its Specialty Restaurant Group, which already includes The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.

The transaction is expected to be neutral to Darden’s diluted net earnings per share for its fiscal year 2012.

Eddie V’s Restaurants also owns the Roaring Fork brand, which is not part of the sale.

Darden’s shares closed up 0.9 percent at $46.33 on the New York Stock Exchange and were barely changed at $46 in extended trading.

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