1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands exploring possible sale

The Tampa-based company is considering that option among other “strategic alternatives."
Outback Steakhouse is owned by Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands. Some restaurants are operated by franchise owners. [Photo provided by Bloomin' Brands]
Published Nov. 6
Updated Nov. 6

TAMPA — Bloomin’ Brands, the Tampa-based parent company of Outback Steakhouse, announced Wednesday it will look into putting itself up for sale.

CEO David Deno said over the last few years the company has improved its customer experience through restaurant makeovers, added pickup options and expanded use of delivery services such as Doordash. It also has grown its footprint abroad.

Yet shareholder value hasn’t matched the progress, he said during Wednesday’s quarterly earnings call.

“We’re looking at all different alternatives for our company, which potentially would include a sale of the company,” Deno told analysts.

“We think there is a very large disconnect between what we’re producing each and every quarter versus the value of the company,” he said.

Bloomin’ Brands stock was trading at $23.27 when the markets closed Wednesday, up more than 11 percent. At that share price, the total stock market value of Bloomin’ Brands was a little over $2 billion.

While chain restaurants have struggled, Bloomin’ restaurants — Outback, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar — have kept mostly consistent comparative sales each quarter.

The company has met earnings expectations 13 out of 14 quarters, Deno said, missing the target only in the quarter after Hurricane Irma. Plus, he said, it has good cash flow, its margins are improving and it is experimenting.

“Really, being flat is like growing because everyone is losing shares,” said restaurant analyst and CEO of Foodservice Results Darren Tristano.

Bloomin’ Brands’ value could “be a littler higher today than it has been before" Tristano said. So, it makes sense to explore a sale now.

This is not the first time the idea of selling the company, or some of its restaurants, has been raised at Bloomin’ Brands. But before, it came from activist investor Jana Partners, a New York hedge fund that now has about a 9 percent stake in the company. Jana, which declined comment Wednesday, had pushed for sales-leader Outback to be spun off into its own company.

Tristano doubts the board would recommend Outback be sold off separately, because consumers find value in variety. Bloomin’ has been testing pick-up hubs in Tampa that have family to-go meals from both Carrabba’s and Outback under the same roof.

More likely, Tristano said, is that Bloomin’ will be able to make a profit from selling its smallest brand, Fleming’s, and use that money to invest back in its three others. An investor likely would be attracted to Fleming’s room for growth, the analyst said.

RELATED: Activist investor takes 9 percent stake in Bloomin’ Brands

“We decided working with the board to step back and ask the fundamental question, ‘What’s the best capital structure to go forward?’" Deno said. “So we’ve used this opportunity to look at strategic alternatives. No, we’re not responding to things. We’re taking action here."

Bloomin’ Brands reported revenue of $967.1 million during the three months through the end of September, up less than a percent from the same quarter last year. Its U.S. restaurant sales mostly stayed the same this quarter — except for a 2 percent dip at Bonefish — but Outback Brazil’s sales grew 11 percent.

The Bloomin’ board of directors has retained BofA Securities as its financial adviser as it looks at strategy options. The board will review alternatives while continuing business as usual, Deno said.

There’s no timetable for a decision, and no guarantee that the review will result in a sale or other change of any kind, the company said.

Contact Richard Danielson at or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times. Contact Sara DiNatale at


  1. Tech Data's CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with former CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky earlier this year. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
    A private equity firm has agreed to buy Tech Data.
  2. Joseph Erickson, 53, looks out the window at the gulf-[front condo he thought he won at a foreclosure auction last year.t JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    "There have been serious allegations,'' Judge Keith Meyer said.
  3. Sam's Club fulfillment center manager Nick Barbieri explains to a shopper how the new Scan & Go shop works at 5135 S Dale Mabry Highway. SARA DINATALE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Shoppers in Tampa Bay can now skip the line and cash out alcohol on their own phones.
  4. Which cars hold their value best in Tampa Bay? Pictured is traffic in Tampa Bay in 2017. [Times file photo] ELLIOTT, LOREN  |  Elliott, Loren
    For the top spots, think big and rugged.
  5. A rendering of the planned Pinstripes bowling, bocce and bistro space that is planned to open at International Plaza alongside a Cinemex in spring 2021. Pinstripes
    In addition to upscale bowling and movies, there will also be bocce ball and a bistro.
  6. Tech Data's headquarters in Largo. TD AGENCY  |  Courtesy of Tech Data
    The company is being sold to a private equity firm.
  7. St. Petersburg's new 26-acre Pier District, with components that will include a coastal thicket walking path, marketplace, playground and pavilion, is nearing completion. Shown is the tilted lawn in front of the Pier head building that is being created  with Geofoam, soil and grass. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    St. Petersburg hopes to sell naming rights in the Pier District — available for annual payments of $50,000 to $1 million for 10-year terms — to help offset taxpayer subsidies.
  8. Tech Data chief executive officer Rich Hume talks to company employees about the pending acquisition of Tech Data for $5.4 billion at a global town hall meeting on Wednesday morning. David Kiester | Tech Data
    Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share of Tech Data stock. If shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County.
  9. Isabella Yosuico of Safety Harbor with some of the Mighty Tykes wrist and ankle bands she invted to help her son Isaac, who has Down Syndrome, and other children with weak muscles. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    A product to help special needs kids leads to big loans, a lawsuit and a bungled bankruptcy
  10. The Pinellas County Commission moved closer Tuesday to granting a total of $20.6 million to three museums: the Salvidor Dali Museum (top), the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center (bottom left), and the St. Petersburg Museum of History. Photos courtesy of Pinellas County
    The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg Museum of History and Tampa Bay Watch are on track to receive bed tax dollars for expansions.