Levine Leichtman beats hedge funds for pubs

The Los Angeles-based private equity firm has emerged the victor over hedge funds Newcastle Partners and Steel Partners in a bidding war for Fox & Hound Restaurant group, a chain of pubs.

Fox & Hound Restaurant Group, a publicly traded chain of “English-style” pubs, has accepted a $155 million (€131 million) take-private offer from Los Angeles private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

The board approval comes three days after a rival bidding group comprised of activist hedge funds Newcastle Partners and Steel Partners raised its offer top that of Levine Leichtman.

Bidding began in October when Levine Leichtman offered to take the Nasdaq-traded company private at $14 per share. The accepted offer values the company at $15.50 per share.

Newcastle Partners owns a roughly 8 percent stake in the Wichita, Kansas-based pub chain, which operates 75 restaurants. The company has annual sales of roughly $150 million.

Levine Leichtman, founded in 1984 by husband-wife team Authur Levine and Lauren Leichtman, has more than $1.1 billion in assets under management.