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Private Equity Firm Prepares to Purchase Houlihan's

Restaurant industry veteran Archer to become CEO for the multi-concept operator.

York Capital Management plans to acquire Houlihan's Restaurants Inc. from an affiliate of Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison. While the transaction is expected to close in December, other terms were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, restaurant industry veteran Michael Archer will make an investment in the company and will become its chief executive officer once the deal closes. Archer's background includes leadership roles with such restaurant concepts as Applebee's, Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Morton's The Steakhouse, Sullivan's and TGI Friday's.

Bob Hartnett, HRI's CEO and chairman, will leave the company in connection with the transaction, but has agreed to remain involved with the company in a consultant role.

Founded in 1972 and located in Leawood, Kans., Houlihan's Restaurants Inc. is a diversified restaurant holding company serving the polished casual and fine dining segments. In addition to the polished-casual Houlihan's chain, other concepts the company operates includes J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks, Bristol Seafood Grill and Bar/Devon's Seafood Grill and Bar.