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NE Selling 47 Restaurants for $93M

April 13, 2001

MAYNARD, Mass. (AP) _ The NE Restaurant Company Inc., said Thursday it agreed to sell 47 restaurants to Dallas-based Brinker International for $93 million.

The sale of the 40 Chili’s and seven On The Border restaurants in the New England area would allow the Maynard-based company to focus exclusively on its chain of Bertucci’s pizza restaurants.

The sale represented a strategic move for the company, said Rick Barbrick, executive vice president of NERCO and president of Bertucci’s. ``This sale provides us with capital and resources to take this outstanding concept coast-to-coast,″ Barbrick said.

Barbrick said privately owned NERCO made a substantial profit on the sale, but would not disclose specifics.

Bertucci’s operates 73 restaurants in nine states and the District of Columbia, and is planning on opening three more restaurants in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The company plans on opening more restaurants outside of the Northeast, Barbrick said, but would not provide details.

Brinker International will absorb the nearly 3,000 management and employees at the 47 restaurants, Barbrick said.

Brinker has more than 1,100 restaurants in 47 states and 20 countries with revenues of more than $3 billion, a company spokesman said. The deal will give the company a foothold in the northeast.

Brinker stock was down one cent to $28.09 at close of trading Thursday.

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