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Morton’s Restaurants Sued Over $116 Million Fertitta Bid

Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc. was sued by an investor who claims a $6.90-a-share, $116.6 million takeover offer by Landry’s Inc. restaurant chain Chief Executive Officer Tilman J. Fertitta is too low.

Directors of the Chicago-based steakhouse operator have a duty to enhance stockholder value in the sale and shirked their responsibilities, lawyers for Shelley Willner said in today’s Delaware Chancery Court complaint.

The price “is unfair and grossly inadequate” considering the company’s potential for “future growth in profits and earnings,” Willner contends in court papers asking a judge to stop the deal and award unspecified damages.

The offer, announced Dec. 16, would add the high-end steakhouse chain to the Texas billionaire Fertitta’s brands including Landry’s, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Rainforest Café and pending acquisition McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc.

Ronald M. DiNella, Morton’s chief financial officer, wasn’t immediately available to respond to a phone call seeking comment on the suit.

The case is Willner v. Morton’s, CA7132, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

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