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Darden Adds to International Expansion With Entry Into Brazil and Three Additional Countries

   Darden Adds to International Expansion With Entry Into Brazil and Three
                             Additional Countries

Veteran Restaurant Operator, International Meal Company, to develop Red
Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse brands

PR Newswire

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 21, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:
DRI) today announced it has entered into an area development agreement with
International Meal Company (Bovesa:IMCH3) to develop and operate 57
restaurants under Darden's Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse
brands in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Panama.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050203/FLTH026LOGO )

"We're excited to bring our three category-leading brands to these countries
through our agreement with International Meal Company, a leading, multi-brand
restaurant operator in South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean,"
said Kim Lopdrup, senior vice president of Business Development for Darden.
"Brazil's growing middle class and strong affinity for American brands makes
it an attractive growth market for Darden. And IMC's focus in Brazil,
Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Panama makes them the ideal partner for
these markets."

"As we've stated previously, Darden remains committed to owning and operating
its restaurants domestically. However we believe the best way for us to
expand the reach of our portfolio internationally is by selecting great
partners, such as IMC, with outstanding operations experience, local market
knowledge, and the commitment to delivering our brands' experience with
excellence."

IMC is Brazil's leading, multi-brand, quick casual restaurant company, with
more than 350 company-owned restaurants and approximately 12,000 employees.
The company operates the Frango Assado and Viena flagship brands; which
combined have almost 100 years in the market and are recognized by guests for
their quality of food and service.

"We are delighted to welcome Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse
to our family," said IMC Chief Executive Officer Javier Gavilan. "We are
constantly looking for the best brands around the world and Darden's fit
perfectly with our idea of excellence."

Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service
restaurant company, owns and operates more than 2,000 restaurants that
generate over $8 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and
employing more than 190,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that
rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2013, Darden was named to
FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the third year in
a row and is the only full-service restaurant company to ever appear on the
list. Our restaurant brands – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse,
Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House –
reflect the rich diversity of the people who dine with us. Our brands are
built on deep insights into what guests want. For more information, please
visit www.darden.com.

About IMC
International Meal Company Holdings S.A., (Bovespa:IMCH3) is the leading
multi-brand casual and quick-service restaurant operator in Latin America,
with more than 350 company-owned restaurants and 12,000 employees in Brazil,
the Caribbean, and Mexico. IMC has a strong presence in airports, motorways
and shopping malls, and is well recognized for its quality food and service.
IMC's goal is to be the largest food-service company in captive markets in
Latin America. In its model of business IMC operates the full cycle of food
and beverage generating a better experience for the consumers and superior
profitability. For more information about IMC please visit our Investor
Relations website at www.internationalmealcompany.com/ir or, for brand
information, visit www.internationalmealcompany.com.

DRI:G



SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.: General

Website: http://www.darden.com
Contact: Rich Jeffers (Media), +1-407-245-4189, rjeffers@darden.com, or
Matthew Stroud (Investors), +1-407-245-6458, mstroud@darden.com
 
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