Fidelity National takes control of J. Alexander's

Almost three-fourths of investors have tendered shares

Executives at J. Alexander's and Fidelity National Financial said Thursday that almost 74 percent of the local restaurant chain's shares have been tendered, bringing its planned $87 million sale a giant step closer to completion.

The deal gives Jacksonville-based Fidelity National control over J. Alexander's, which runs 33 restaurants in 13 states and was heavily coveted by at least two other bidders in recent months. Fidelity National earlier this year also acquired O'Charley's and has since moved the headquarters of its American Blue Ribbon Holdings restaurant subsidiary to O'Charley's former headquarters on Sidco Drive.

“We are pleased with the successful completion of the first step of the transaction with FNF and believe it represents a significant achievement for our shareholders by maximizing value and providing them with a substantial cash premium for their shares. We look forward to a successful merger closing,” said J. Alexander's Chairman, President and CEO Lonnie Stout.

Fidelity National has launched a follow-up offering to acquire the remaining J. Alexander's shares. That offering will close next Wednesday afternoon.