J. Alexander's strikes tentative deal with class-action plaintiffs

Added disclosures regarding Stout employment talks clear path for Fidelity National sale

J. Alexander's executives have taken a big step toward resolving one of the remaining hurdles to selling the company to Florida-based Fidelity National Financial.

On Monday, attorneys representing J. Alexander's, its directors and Fidelity National agreed to a memorandum of understanding with Advanced Advisors, the money management firm that last month filed a putative class action accusing J. Alexander's of not doing enough for investors during sale talks and said Fidelity had unduly influenced negotiations by offering Chairman and CEO Lonnie Stout a job post-acquisition.

Those claims now appear to be on their way to resolution in large part because J. Alexander's on Monday provided more details about the sale and negotiation process, focusing mostly on discussions about Stout's future. The filing — view it here — states that Fidelity officials first talked in June about giving Stout a role in the combined organization and that the two sides then agreed to tighten certain clauses of his contract. The filing also further clarifies the past J. Alexander's holdings of investment bank Cary Street Partners.

The next step in the sale of J. Alexander's — Fidelity National now plans to pay $14.50 per share — is the closing of the tender offer Wednesday night. At least half of J. Alexander's shares must be submitted for the deal to move forward. As of 11:40 a.m. Tuesday, J. Alexander's (Ticker: JAX) were trading at $14.59, up slightly on the day.