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      Hooters chain sold to Charlotte firm

      It appears a Charlotte-based private equity firm has won the right to purchase the Hooters restaurant chain from the estate of the late Myrtle Beach businessman Robert Brooks.

      Chanticleer Holdings LLC of Charlotte had the right of first refusal to buy the chain and court documents indicate Brooks' estate is prepared to sell its holdings to Chanticleer. The price has not been disclosed.

      At the same time, a lawsuit filed in Delaware by Wellspring Capital Management LLC claims Brooks' estate owes damages to Wellspring after that firm won a lengthy bidding process to buy Hooters.

      Conway attorney Jim Young, who represents Wellspring in Horry County, says the court in Delaware will decide whether Chanticleer's claim to exercise its right of first refusal was valid.

      He says Chanticleer has to meet Wellspring's offer for the chain for the deal to go through.

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