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Robert Trigaux

Outback Steakhouse parent now known as Bloomin' Brands seeks $300 million IPO



bloominbrandslogo.jpgBloomin' Brands, the name of the Tampa parent of the Outback Steakhouse restaurant and such other chains as Carrabba's Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill, said it will seek to raise $300 million in an initial public offering the company says will be used to pay down part of its $2.1 billion in highly leveraged debt. The restaurant company, founded by Chris Sullivan, 64, Bob Basham, 64, and Tim Gannon, was public but then went private in 2010 in a $3.2 billion takeover by Bain Capital (yes, Mitt Romney's old firm), Catterton Management and Outback's founders.

Now it's going public again, according to a prospectus just out by the company. The prospectus basically says the company, under recent CEO Liz Smith, 48, is busy remodeling the aging Outback chain look with an emphasis on foreign expansion, testing new looks for Carrabba's and sees the potential to double the size of the Bonefish Grill chain.

The company has focused on providing less expensive and lighter menu offerings in recent years during a recession in which many restaurants have seen sharp drops in the volumes of people going out for casual dining. (Though I must say, whenever I go by an Outback or Carrabba's in the Tampa Bay or other markets in this country, they frequently seemed jammed with dinner traffic.)

Once this IPO happens, the stock will trade under the ticker symbol BLM. Bain (which owns 66 percent) and Catterton (which owns 14 percent) will continue to control the company. CEO Smith is due a multi=million dollar incentive bonus if the IPO happens. She received $8.5 million in compensation last year.

Bloomin' Brands (that's its new logo above) used to be called Kangaroo Holdings, though the operating parent continues to be known as OSI Restaurant Partners.

Here's an unusual perk the top execs at this company get right now: Complimentary food at the company restaurant chains limited to $100 per visit and $1,000 per quarter.

Read more here from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Bloomberg News.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times




[Last modified: Saturday, April 7, 2012 4:41pm]


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