March 12, 2015 / 11:42 AM / 2 years ago

Levy Acquisition to buy fast-food chain Del Taco for $500 million

(Reuters) - Levy Acquisition Corp LEVY.O, the blank-check acquisition vehicle of Chicago restaurateur Larry Levy, said it would buy U.S. fast-food chain Del Taco Inc for about $500 million, including debt.

Private equity-owned Del Taco, which focuses on Mexican cuisine, operates 547 restaurants, mainly in West Coast states.

In a two-step process, Levy's family and other investors will first invest $120 million in Del Taco and gain 46 percent control.

A Levy Acquisition unit will then merge into Del Taco, the company said on Thursday.

Levy Acquisition said it plans to change its name to Del Taco Restaurants Inc and will continue to trade on the Nasdaq.

Reuters reported in February that Levy Acquisition was in advanced talks to buy Del Taco.

The deal is expected to close in June.

Del Taco's owners include Goldman Sachs Mezzanine Partners, Charlesbank Capital Partners and Leonard Green & Partners LP.

Levy is the co-founder of Levy Restaurants, which operates concession stands at arenas including Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Park.

He also owns well-known Chicago restaurants such Spiaggia, which is regarded as one of President Barack Obama's favorite restaurants in the city.

Levy Acquisition's shares were up marginally at $9.98 in light premarket trading.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sriaj Kalluvila

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