Buffets Explores Options, Including Possible Sale

The company, which emerged from bankruptcy two years ago, is exploring "strategic alternatives," including a possible sale.

Eagan-based Buffets, Inc., announced Friday that it has hired a financial advisor to help the company explore “strategic alternatives,” including a possible sale.

The restaurant operator did not provide further details and said in the announcement that it will not disclose developments regarding its exploration “unless and until the board of directors approves a transaction or otherwise concludes its strategic alternatives review.”

The company cautioned in its announcement that it is not guaranteed that this exploration process will result in any specific action or transaction.

Buffets, which operates more than 500 restaurants in 39 states, was founded in 1983 and went public in 1985. It was purchased by Caxton-Iseman and Sentinel, LP, in 2000 for $643 million. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2008.

The company emerged from bankruptcy in April 2009 and announced that it would downsize and move its headquarters to a smaller facility. In conjunction with is emergence from bankruptcy, Buffets closed on $117.5 million in new, first-lien exit financing from various lenders.

The company said at that time that the exit financing, along with nearly $140 million in second-lien rollover financing, would enable it to provide working capital for its ongoing operations.

Buffets, which employs more than 25,000, is now among the state's largest private companies based on revenue, which totaled $1.25 billion in its most recent fiscal year.