TORONTO — It turns out Cara Operations Ltd. is not the only contender in the race to acquire Prime Restaurants Inc., according to Canadian Press.
Apparently there’s a rival bid from Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Toronto-based insurance company that offered $71 million to purchase Prime, topping Cara’s bid by $12 million.
Prime, owner of Irish pubs and casual-dining premium restaurant brands such as Casey’s and East Side Mario’s, received a $59-million offer last month from Vaughan, Ont.-based Cara, owner of Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Milestones, Montana’s Cookhouse and Kelsey’s restaurants.
Fairfax has submitted its bid, and now Cara has five business days to submit another offer or withdraw and face a termination fee. “Cara is examining the acquisition proposal from Fairfax and will evaluate Cara’s alternatives under the provisions of the acquisition agreement,” reads a company statement from the restaurant operators, as reported by the Canadian Press.
Although Fairfax is an insurance company, it has invested in other industries as well, including the former Canwest newspaper and television group. Last year it acquired a 19.7-per-cent stake in a Montreal toymaker company in its recapitalization of Mega Brands Inc.
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