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MINNEAPOLIS-The management of Buca Inc., the parent company of the 91-unit Buca Di Beppo Italian-restaurant chain, is considering a sale. The outfit has hired Piper Jaffray & Co. to “assist with strategic matters.”

Other alternatives Buca executives are considering include the raising of capital, a recapitalization of the company or a merger with another organization. Management will not comment on any potential deals until its board approves a transaction.

Buca’s stock traded at under $1 yesterday and closed at 95 cents. Its 52-week high is $6.39, which the company hit last January, and the stock has gradually decreased since that time.

For the first three quarters of its fiscal year, Buca has posted a net loss of $10.7 million. Same-restaurant sales year over year during the period increased 1.9%. As of late, the chain had been hurt by difficult margins and unseasonable weather, Wallace Doolin, Buca’s chairman and chief executive officer, remarked in a third-quarter results statement.

A note by Cowen retail analyst Paul Westra says that he believes a potential buyer will take the chain private.

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