Fidelity National to buy restaurant O’Charley’s

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  – Fidelity National Financial Inc. agreed to buy O’Charley’s Inc. for $9.85 a share in a deal that values the casual dining chain at $221 million in cash.

The title insurer, which currently owns about 9.5 percent of O’Charley’s shares, will pay a premium of about 42 percent to the stock’s Friday close of $6.92.

The deal is Fidelity National’s latest step to turn away from the insurance industry and diversify into other businesses.

“We have been seeking an investment in a larger, scalable, strategic restaurant operating company to complement our successful investment in American Blue Ribbons Holdings LLC,” Fidelity National Chairman William Foley II said in a statement.

Last July, the company struck a deal to sell its flood insurance business – the largest in the United States. In December, it sold most of its personal lines business, which sells coverages like home and auto insurance.

Separately, O’Charley’s, which operates or franchises 342 restaurants under O’Charley’s, Ninety Nine Restaurant and Stoney River Legendary Steaks brands, posted a fourth-quarter loss hurt by a fall in margins.

Fidelity National shares had closed at $18.43 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.