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Fox & Hound in the Hunt

The restaurant chain agrees to go private at a 36% premium to recent prices.
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Fox & Houndundefined agreed to be taken private for $14 a share.

The Wichita, Kan., operator of so-called entertainment restaurants under the Fox & Hound and Bailey's brand names said it signed a letter of intent with a group led by senior management and backed by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners of Los Angeles. The offer gives shareholders a 36% premium to Monday's closing price. Shares of Fox & Hound surged 33% early Tuesday.

Fox & Hound said a special panel of independent directors approved the plan, which is contingent on the buyer obtaining financing. CEO Steven M. Johnson, finance chief James K. Zielke, President Gary M. Judd and operating chief Kenneth C. Syvarth will participate as equity holders.

The letter of intent gives the Levine Leichtman group exclusive negotiating rights through Jan. 31, 2006, subject to Fox & Hound's right to respond to certain unsolicited proposals. Fox & Hound will pay Levine Leichtman a $5 million termination fee if it pursues another deal instead.

Early Tuesday, Fox & Hound rose $3.28 to $13.33.