MIAMI, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Benihana Inc. (NASDAQ: BNHN; BNHNA) ("Benihana"), operator of the nation's largest chain of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, today announced that it, together with its affiliates Benihana National Corp. and Noodle Time (collectively "the Plaintiffs"), has filed a complaint against Benihana of Tokyo, Inc. ("BOT"), Keiko Aoki, and Takanori Yoshimoto (collectively "the Defendants") in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida.
According to the Complaint, Aoki, motivated by a desire to perpetuate her position of control over BOT and influence over Benihana, directed BOT and Yoshimoto to engage in actions damaging to all Benihana stockholders, including BOT's other beneficiaries. The Complaint details the Defendants' breach of contract, civil conspiracy, injury to business reputation, violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, tortious interference, and unfair competition arising out of the Defendants' deceptive, unfair and unlawful conduct relating to their disparagement of the Plaintiffs. Through these actions, the Defendants have deliberately attempted to dilute the value of Benihana and deceive the public into believing that the title to the BENIHANA® Trademarks is in question when it is not, according to the Complaint.
Benihana said that it has pursued this litigation in order to protect the interests of all its shareholders from the Defendants' alleged self-serving actions and agenda.
Headquartered in Miami, Benihana Inc. (NASDAQ GS: BNHN, BNHNA) is the nation's leading operator of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants with 96 restaurants nationwide, including 63 Benihana restaurants, eight Haru sushi restaurants, and 25 RA Sushi restaurants. In addition, 20 franchised Benihana restaurants are operating in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. To learn more about Benihana Inc. and its three restaurant concepts, please view the corporate video at www.benihana.com/about/video.
Safe Harbor Statement
Except for the historical matters contained herein, statements in this press release are forward-looking and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the business and prospects of the Benihana , including, without limitation: risks related to Benihana's business strategy, including the Renewal Program and marketing programs; risks related to Benihana's ability to operate successfully in the current challenging economic environment; risks related to Benihana's efforts to strengthen its Benihana Teppanyaki concept and build its RA Sushi and Haru brands; and other risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Although Benihana believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that its expectations will be realized. In addition to the risks and uncertainties set forth above, investors should consider the risks and uncertainties discussed in Benihana's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in such filings. Benihana does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which any such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Jeremy Fielding/Adam Weiner/James David
Kekst and Company
SOURCE Benihana Inc.