Orlando, Fla. -- Darden Restaurants, Inc., which operates the Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse banners among others, has completed the repurchase of approximately $900 million of the previously announced $1 billion debt retirement, leaving approximately $1.6 billion of debt on its balance sheet.
The remaining $100 million of debt has been called for redemption and is expected to be retired later this month, according to the company, which used after-tax proceeds from its sale of Red Lobster to consummate the debt retirement and to initiate a $500 million accelerated stock buyback program.
With the closing of the debt retirement, the company is affirming its fiscal 2015 outlook.
"The completion of this tender offer further reinforces Darden's strong financial foundation,” said Chuck Ledsinger, non-executive chairman of the board of Darden. “In addition to the debt reduction, the Red Lobster sale proceeds also enable us to increase our capital return to shareholders and support the company's current dividend despite the change in our operating structure following the sale."
The Red Lobster sale was completed on July 28.