Make us your home page
Instagram

Outback owner OSI may go public again

TAMPA — The owners of Outback Steakhouse are weighing whether to cash in by turning the chain into a publicly traded company again.

Officials at Tampa-based OSI Restaurant Partners would not comment Tuesday, citing SEC quiet period rules. But the privately held company put out a statement that it is considering filing a prospectus within two months that would be the precursor to selling shares for the first time in five years.

Second only to Red Lobster/Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc. among the big casual-dining chains, OSI generated about $3.6 billion in revenue for parent Kangaroo Holdings Inc. in the most recent fiscal year. The company operates more than 1,400 restaurants under five brands, including more than 900 Outbacks.

Outback was sold to Bain Capital and Catterton Partners for $3.2 billion in 2007, while some of the founding partners — including Bob Basham and Chris Sullivan — retained their minority stakes and board seats.

Since then the company weathered and reversed double-digit declines in comparable-store sales, a barometer of a chain's hold on its customers. It also reduced its far-flung overseas ventures, closing marginal stores and selling startup brands Cheeseburger in Paradise and Lee Roy Selmon's that were not considered core holdings.

In 2009, OSI also paid $19 million to settle a class-action sex discrimination suit filed on behalf of thousands of its female employees two months after hiring Liz Smith, the No. 2 executive at Avon Products, as the restaurant chain's first female chief executive. Her employment contract includes incentive bonuses of up to $15 million if OSI successfully completes an initial public offering.

She has shuffled management, tweaked the menu with less expensive entrees and classed up the dated look of Outback restaurants. She also pushed to expand locations of Bonefish Grill, which is seen as the company's next growth vehicle.

Now operating income is up, debt has been whittled down to $1.5 billion and comparable-store sales rose for six consecutive quarters. In the most recent quarter, system sales rose 5.6 percent at Outback stores, 6.3 percent at Carrabba's Italian Grill, 7.4 percent at Bonefish Grill and 10.1 percent at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.

Mark Albright can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8252.

Outback owner OSI may go public again 03/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  2. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

    Banking

    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  3. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza

    Retail

    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  4. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code

    Banking

    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  5. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]