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Firm to buy 7 J.J. North's

North's Restaurants Inc. has agreed to sell seven J.J. North's GrandBuffet restaurants to a new subsidiary of CKE Restaurants Inc. for $4.5million.

Spokesmen for North's and CKE Restaurants did not know which seven North'sare in the deal, except that they're in Washington, Idaho, Utah and Oregon.

This is a very new development; we just filed the transaction onMonday, said Loren Pannier, senior vice president for investor relationsat CKE Restaurants, of Anaheim, Calif.

North's is a family-owned group of 20 restaurants founded in Medfordin 1959. It is now operated by John and Jim North, sons of the founders.

They will continue to operate the 13 restaurants remaining in the group,said Bob Isaacs, director of marketing.

The Oregon locations include Medford, Grants Pass, Bend and Portland.North's operates three restaurants in Idaho, three in Utah and two in Washingtonstate.

The acquisition is contingent on a stock offering and is expected toclose by the end of September.

The new CKE subsidiary, Star Buffet, will be based in Salt Lake City.It also will operate 16 Home Town Buffet restaurants now held by SummitFamily Restaurants Inc., another subsidiary of CKE Restaurants.

The new subsidiary agreed to acquire up to 30 percent of Stacey's BuffetInc., which operates restaurants in the Northeast and Florida.

Pannier said the group hopes to improve profitability through bettercapitalization and additional buying power as a larger group.

J.J. North's has maintained a strong presence in the Pacific Northwestand Stacey's Buffet maintains a presence in the Southeast, two areas StarBuffet had targeted as areas for expansion, said Robert E. Wheaton,president and chief executive of Star Buffet.

Star Buffet is acquiring the use of North's company trademarks, menus,restaurant designs and other assets.

CKE Restaurants' franchisees and licensees operate 668 Carl's Jr. restaurants,3,119 Hardee's quick-service restaurants, 107 Taco Bueno restaurants, 95JB's restaurants and 116 others.

Details on the stock offering remain to be announced. It is being underwrittenby Equitable Securities of Nashville and Everen Securities of Chicago, Panniersaid.>