"By reaching this agreement, we continue to make progress on our strategic initiatives to even more strongly position Darden for future growth as well as maximize value to our shareholders," says Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis. "The sale enables us to focus our resources on fully leveraging the long-term growth potential of our proven brands and emerging concepts."
"Darden will remain involved during the transition period and support the Smokey Bones business and team every step of the way," remarked Drew Madsen, Darden's President and Chief Operating Officer.
"We are extremely appreciative of the contributions of our friends and colleagues at Smokey Bones, and we wish them well."
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI - News) headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the world's largest casual dining company with almost $6.7 billion in annual sales and approximately 170,000 employees.