Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Benihana sees renewed buyout interest (BNHNA)

Shares of Japanese restaurateur Benihana (BNHNA) are up 6% today, due to a New York Post story.  The Post claims that Russell Glass - a former colleague of Carl Icahn - offered $7 per share for the company, versus yesterday's closing price of 5.58.  This is the second time in as many months that Glass has attempted to purchase the company.

The company's market cap is minuscule, at about $91million, and today's 154,000 shares traded is three times the average of 53,000.

Despite the $7 offer, BNHNA shares are trading at less than $6 today, as investors doubt that the deal will go through.  Management and the board have been adamant about sticking to their turnaround plan, which includes a dilutive capital raise.

Benihana's small size is prohibitively expensive.  Its marketing and G&A runs about 10% of revenues, versus closer to 6% for a larger firm like PF Chang's (PFCB).



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