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Darden Restaurants to Break Off Its Real Estate in REIT Deal

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Darden Restaurants to Split Off 430 Properties

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Darden Restaurants Inc., whose entire board was replaced last year in a proxy fight, will split off about 430 properties and transfer them to a real estate investment trust, following through on a promise made by its new bosses.

The REIT, which will be publicly traded, will lease back the properties to Darden, according to a statement on Tuesday. Darden, the owner of Olive Garden and other casual-dining chains, also is selling about 75 individual restaurants under separate deals. More than 30 of those properties have already been sold or are under contract, the company said.