NEW YORK (AP) -- Darden Restaurants says it entered an agreement to sell its Red Lobster chain to investment firm Golden Gate Capital in a $2.1 billion cash deal.
The move comes as Darden, which also owns Olive Garden, fights to improve its financial performance.
Olive Garden and Red Lobster have been losing customers in recent years, and the company has been trying to update the image of its flagship chains.
Investors have challenged Darden's plans to sell only Red Lobster, saying that the company should separate Olive Garden and Red Lobster as a pair from its more successful specialty restaurant group.
Darden, based in Orlando, Florida, has said that Olive Garden complements its portfolio of smaller restaurant chains that cater to customers willing to spend more.
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