A day after Cheesecake Factory announced a licensing agreement that would expand its presence into Mexico and Chile, fellow casual-dining company Darden Restaurants yesterday announced its own move south of the border.

Darden has signed an agreement with Brazil's International Meal Company to develop and operate 57 assorted Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants across Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Panama.

"Brazil's growing middle class and strong affinity for American brands makes it an attractive growth market for Darden," Kim Lopdrup, senior vice president of business development for Darden, was quoted as saying in the press release. International Meal Co. has more than 350 company-owned restaurants and approximately 12,000 employees. The company operates the Frango Assado and Viena flagship brands.


Financial terms were not disclosed in the press release, nor did the companies advise on the timetable for Darden's planned international expansion.

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The article Darden Restaurants Heads South of the Border originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Darden Restaurants. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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