Darden sells Red Lobster chain for $2.1 billion

May 16, 2014

FORTUNE -- A new owner now controls America's access to endless shrimp.

Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, has purchased the Red Lobster restaurant business from Darden Restaurants (dri). The sale is for $2.1 billion and is the end of a long process for Darden to sell or spinoff the seafood chain.

"Red Lobster is an exceptionally strong brand with an unparalleled market position in seafood casual dining," said Josh Olshansky, managing director at Golden Gate Capital, in a news release. "Red Lobster is exactly the type of company in which we seek to invest given its great brand profile and strong management team."

This has been a less-than-stellar year for Darden, with its stock price down nearly 7% since the beginning of 2014.

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