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WICHITA, KS-An entity owned by private equity firms Newcastle Partners and Steel Partners II is offering to purchase locally based restaurant chain Fox & Hound Restaurant Group for $14.75 per share, or about $148 million. The bid, made by F&H Acquisition Corp., tops a $14-per-share offer made in October by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

Fox & Hound’s shares last traded at $13.22 yesterday before the market closed. Newcastle Partners claims to already own 836,049 shares of the 82-unit chain.

Dallas-based Newcastle is currently in a $1.20-per-share bid to buy the 389-store Whitehall Jewellers. Steel Partners II, of New York City, counts among its investments a portion of investment firm BKF Capital Group.

Fox & Hound, which operates restaurants under the Fox and Hound English Pub and Bailey’s Sports Grille names, opened two new units in its Q3. For the rest of the fiscal year, executives are planning two to three new restaurants and an additional 10 to 11 in its next fiscal year.

The average Fox and Hound or Bailey’s unit is 9,600 sf. A majority of the company’s restaurants are in the Midwest and Southeast.

Fox & Hound ended its Q3 on Sept. 7 and posted a 0.5% year-over-year same-store sales gain. Total revenues jumped 16.8%, to $36.7 million, while the company earned $156,000 during the quarter.

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