McCormick & Schmick’s Settles Lawsuits Over Landry’s Offer

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc. moved a step closer to being acquired by Landry’s Inc. by settling shareholder lawsuits over the $131.6 million takeover.

Under the settlement, which requires approval from Delaware Chancery Court Judge J. Travis Laster, investors will get more information about the process leading to the $8.75-a-share deal and the investors’ lawyers will negotiate a fee award with the companies, according to court documents filed today.

The settlement “shall not be deemed a presumption, concession or admission by any defendant of any fault, liability or wrongdoing,” McCormick said in the filing.

McCormick, based in Portland, Oregon, and Houston-based Landry’s disclosed the offer on Nov. 22, saying McCormick’s board determined the acquisition was fair and in the best interests of stockholders.

Matthew Sherman, a spokesman for McCormick, didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the settlement.

The settlement was reached before a hearing scheduled in Wilmington today where shareholders who sued seeking a better price from Landry’s planned to ask Laster to issue an injunction to block the sale.

McCormick rose 1 cent to $8.73 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 2:57 p.m. in New York.

The case is In Re McCormick & Schmick’s Shareholder Litigation, CA7058, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).