Applebee's International's shareholders approved the proposed $25.50 per share/$2.1 billion purchase of Applebee's by IHOP Corp. Tuesday, the companies said.The companies expect the deal to close by Nov. 29. Applebee's said about 70% of the shares were voted in favor of the acquisition. IHOP is the largest U.S. pancake-house chain. The acquisition has faced some opposition from shareholders, including several directors who felt the price, which at the time of the offer was a 4.6% premium, undervalued the company. Burton 'Skip' Sack, Applebee's largest individual shareholder and a director, said last week he would ask a court to appraise the company in an effort to get IHOP to pay a higher price. Including Sack and CEO David Goebel, five directors opposed the acquisition; nine directors favored it. IHOP, with about 1,300 restaurants, plans to turn most of Applebee's more than 500 company-owned restaurants into franchises.
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