Ruth's Chris Steak House Announces Investment Agreement With Madison Dearborn Partners

Jul 19, 1999, 01:00 ET from Ruth's Chris Steak House

    METAIRIE, La., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruth's Chris Steak House and
 Madison Dearborn Partners today announced an agreement that calls for the
 Chicago-based private equity investment firm to purchase a majority stake in
 the restaurant group.  Terms of the agreement, which is expected to close in
 August, were not disclosed.
     Ruth's Chris Steak House announced in January 1999 that the company's
 majority shareholders, the Fertel Family, intended to explore alternatives to
 reduce their ownership position in the Company.
     "We are proud to welcome Madison Dearborn Partners, as the majority
 shareholder, to the Ruth's Chris Steak House family," stated William L. Hyde,
 Jr., President and CEO of Ruth's Chris Steak House.  "Ruth's Chris has a
 thirty-four year tradition as the leader in fine dining.  Combining the
 strength of the Ruth's Chris brand with the financial savvy and sector
 experience of Madison Dearborn Partners is a winning formula for continued
     In making the announcement Mr. Hyde emphasized that company Founder, Ruth
 Fertel, will continue to be a shareholder.  "Ruth Fertel has dedicated her
 life to building Ruth's Chris Steak House and will continue to lend her
 experience and valued expertise in the future.  Madison Dearborn's majority
 stake in Ruth's Chris Steak House, combined with the investment of management
 and the Fertel Family, will enhance the company's leadership position."
     "Ruth's Chris Steak House is the leading fine dining brand in a growing
 segment of the restaurant industry, and we look forward to building on that
 success," stated Robin P. Selati, Managing Director of Madison Dearborn
 Partners.  "The company is poised to accelerate both domestic and
 international growth.  This, coupled with the fact that we are backing a very
 experienced management team, offers our partners an attractive investment
     Established in New Orleans in 1965, Ruth's Chris Steak House is the
 nation's largest upscale, fine dining restaurant group.  Featuring USDA Prime
 beef, custom aged and served sizzling,
     Ruth's Chris has established a reputation for excellent food served in an
 intimate, yet inviting atmosphere.  The Louisiana based company currently
 operates 68 restaurants worldwide.
     Madison Dearborn is a private equity firm based in Chicago, which invests
 primarily in management buyouts, recapitalizations and growth equity
 transactions.  Madison Dearborn manages approximately $4 billion of capital
 focusing on investments in specific sectors, including consumer, industrial,
 communications, natural resources, and health care services.

SOURCE Ruth's Chris Steak House