Bravo Brio Says It’s Not in Acquisition Talks With Darden

Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Inc. (BBRG), a 90-store Italian eatery chain, said it hasn’t discussed a potential acquisition with Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI), owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster.

“There has been no dialogue with Darden about an acquisition,” Ashley Swenson, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today. Bravo Brio is “very confident that we can continue to grow as a public company,” she said.

Stephen Anderson, an analyst at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York, last week said that Columbus, Ohio-based Bravo Brio may be a “good strategic opportunity for an acquisition” and named Darden as a possible suitor.

Bravo Brio rose (BBRG) 0.6 percent to $16.65 at 1:34 p.m. in New York. The shares declined 11 percent last year. Darden advanced 0.3 percent to $44.76 and fell 1.9 percent last year.

Rich Jeffers, a spokesman for Orlando, Florida-based Darden, declined to comment in an e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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