May 02, 2008

Business news -- D&B's Attracts Bidders; Q1 Same-Store Earnings Rise 4%

IRVING, TX — Dave & Buster's Inc., offered for sale last February at a reported $600 million asking price by owner Wellspring Capital Management, may have six companies making bids in an ongoing auction process, according to Nation's Restaurant News. Additionally, said the bidding has reached the second round. Whether speculation or solid inside information, the story surfaced in outlets including the New York Times.

Reportedly, possible buyers include MidOcean Partners, owner of the Sbarro fast-food chain; Bain Capital Partners, a major shareholder in Dunkin' Donuts, Burger King and Outback Steakhouse; British consumer firm Lion Capital; and Bear Stearns Merchant Banking. Another deep-pocketed investor, Sun Capital, is said to have decided against bidding on the grounds that the opening threshold is too high.

D&B's was a publicly traded company until 2006, when Wellspring purchased it for $375 million, taking the company private. Wellspring hired New York investment bank Jefferies & Co. to shop D&B's around last year, but then decided on the auction route.

According to a report on, GE Capital, a unit of General Electric Co., is believed to have stepped in with a financing underwriting offer for any qualified buyer, but on more conservative terms than Jeffries had contemplated.

Meanwhile, D&B's said its 2007 fourth quarter results, for the period ended February 3, 2008, showed revenue increased 1% to $145.4 million from $143.9 million the same quarter of 2006. Same-store sales increased 4% over the comparable 13-week period in 2006.

Highlights for the 52-week fiscal 2007 compared with the 53-week fiscal 2006 were also encouraging. Annual revenue increased to $536.3 million from $510.2 million, or 5.1%. Same-store sales increased 4.1% compared with 2006.

CEO Steve King said customer-pleasing value packages and strong cable TV advertising helped drive traffic to D&B's.

Posted by staff at May 2, 2008 01:58 PM