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HOUSTON-Landry’s Restaurants is entertaining a $1.3-billion buyout offer from Tilman Fertitta, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. He is offering $23.50 per share for Landry’s, which operates about 180 restaurants including the Rainforest Café, Saltgrass Steakhouse and Crab House chain among others, as well as the Golden Nugget casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin, NV.

Landry’s stock last closed at $16.67. Fertita, who owns a 39% equity stake in the company, and he is looking at obtaining outside financing to purchase the remainder.

Landry’s has formed a special committee to go over the proposal. It is also in the process of hiring financial and legal advisors.

In 2006 Landry’s sold its Joe’s Crab Shack chain for $192 million to JCS Holdings. The company attempted to acquire the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse chain last year but was unsuccessful.

During its most recent quarter, which ended Sept. 30, Landry’s posted a $3.2-million loss. Same-store sales at company restaurants during that period rose 1% year over year.

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