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Golden Gate Buys California Pizza Kitchen for $470M

Buyout shop Golden Gate Capital will pay $470 million for California Pizza Kitchen Inc., Reuters reported. The sale price of $18.50 a share represents a 32% premium to the 30-day average price prior to the search for a buyer, the company announced. But the sale price does fall below the company’s 52-week high of $20 per share. Moelis & Co. served as the financial adviser to California Pizza.

(Reuters) – California Pizza Kitchen Inc (CPKI.O) agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $470 million, more than a year after its hunt for a buyer began.

The sale price of $18.50 a share fell below some investors’ expectations and the company’s 52-week high of $20 a share. Still, the company said Wednesday that the price represented a 32 percent premium to the 30-day average price prior to the search for a buyer and a 15 percent premium to the 30-day average price prior to the announcement.

Shares of the stock rose 13 percent in premarket trading. The auction had dragged on since February 2010.

The company, which offers unusual items like Korean barbecue steak tacos and pear and gorgonzola pizzas, was one of several restaurant chains up for sale at a time when consumers were still cautious about spending. Other restaurant chains on the block include McCormick and Schmick’s, Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc (MRT.N) and YUM Brands Inc’s (YUM.N) Long John Silver’ and A&W All-American Food chains.

Moelis & Co served as the exclusive financial adviser to California Pizza. (Reporting by Jessica Hall, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)