TSG Consumer to Sell Yard House to Darden Restaurants

TSG Consumer Partners said late Thursday that it has agreed to sell Yard House USA to Darden Restaurants. The deal is valued at $585 million. Irvine, Calif.-based Yard House is a bar and grill operator with more than 39 restaurants spread across 13 states, according to press reports. Darden owns the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. JP Morgan provided financial advice to TSG Consumer while Goldman Sachs advised Darden.


TSG Consumer Partners LLC (“TSG”) announced today that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of Yard House USA Inc., a rapidly growing chain of premium casual dining restaurants, to Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI). The purchase price is $585 million and the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

“We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with Steele Platt, Harald Herrmann, Carlito Jocson and the other members of the Yard House management team. They have built an innovative concept with unparalleled growth and restaurant performance metrics and a significant path for expansion,” said Pierre LeComte, Managing Director at TSG.  “Our team worked with Yard House to rapidly expand the number and geographic footprint of their restaurants which now span 13 states. We view Darden as the ideal steward for the business going forward,” he continued.

“Our successful partnership with TSG has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Yard House CEO Mr. Herrmann. “TSG recognized our potential early on and their dedication, support and guidance to our team and our company have proven to be extremely valuable. We have been able to more than double in size while maintaining our high standards and our company culture. Our team is very grateful for TSG’s mentorship and entrepreneurial spirit which allowed us to continue to shape and grow the fine company that Yard House is today.”

“TSG has a long and successful track record of investing in high-growth consumer brands. Our 2007 investment in Yard House was an extraordinary investment for the fund, having exhibited remarkable performance in the 2008 and 2009 periods and thereafter. We are honored to have worked with the Yard House team over the past five years and to have shared in Yard House’s evolution into the industry-leading concept it is today,” said Hadley Mullin, Managing Director at TSG Consumer Partners.

TSG Consumer Partners was advised by J.P. Morgan and Sidley Austin LLP.  Darden Restaurants, Inc. was advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Hunton & Williams LLP.
About TSG Consumer Partners LLC

TSG Consumer Partners LLC is a leading investment firm with over $2.9 billion in equity capital under management, focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage, restaurant, beauty, personal care, household and apparel & accessories sectors. Representative past and present partner companies include vitaminwater, Smart Balance, PopChips, Muscle Milk, Smashbox Cosmetics, Pureology, e.l.f. cosmetics and Alexis Bittar.  For more information please visit www.tsgconsumer.com
About Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world’s largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates nearly 2,000 restaurants that generate $8.0 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida and employing 180,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2012, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the second year in a row. Our restaurant brands – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V’s – reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.