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VOL. 36 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 14, 2012

Fidelity buys majority of J Alexander's shares

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NEW YORK (AP) — Fidelity National Financial Inc., a Florida-based title insurer which also has a stake in restaurant brands including Bakers Square and O'Charley's, said Thursday that it acquired majority control of J. Alexander's Corp.

Fidelity said it is moving to complete its purchase of the restaurant chain operator, which is based in Nashville, Tenn.

Fidelity said 4.5 million shares of J. Alexander's were tendered in support of its offer and not withdrawn, giving it a 73.8 percent stake in the company. Fidelity is starting a new tender offer for the remaining shares, and said that offer will expire on Sept. 26.

Fidelity, a title insurer and mortgage services company based in Jacksonville, Fla., agreed to buy J. Alexander's in June for $12 per share. It raised that offer twice and is buying the company for $14.50 per share.

The companies said Tuesday they had resolved a lawsuit brought by shareholders that was filed after Fidelity National agreed to buy J. Alexander's. J. Alexander's agreed to make additional disclosures about the deal.

J. Alexander's, which operates 33 of its namesake restaurants, will be combined with Fidelity's other restaurant holdings. Fidelity's American Blue Ribbon Holdings business operates 674 restaurants in 13 states under brands that also include Max & Erma's, Village Inn, and Ninety Nine Restaurant.

Shares of Fidelity National slipped 8 cents to $20.01 in afternoon trading Thursday after hitting a 52-week high of $20.11 on Wednesday.