Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday. The company said it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with rival Landry’s to acquire substantially all of its assets. The deal with Landry’s is subject to “higher or better offers.”

Through the bankruptcy filing, Houlihan’s said it will continue to support is operations throughout the closing of the sale. The company said that it has secured new financing commitments to fund the business through the sale, which is expected to close by the end of the year.

The bankruptcy filing comes as Houlihan’s experienced limited liquidity and higher rents, even after posting growth in sales, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The company has 69 restaurants under the Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar, J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steak + Seafood and Devon Seafood Grill brands. About 3,450 employees work for the company.

According to the bankruptcy filing, Houlihan’s has not paid interest or debt payment to its lender since December. The company cited “unsustainably high occupancy costs” at several of its restaurants.

“We expect the process to be seamless for our guests, team members and vendors and look forward to continuing to provide our guests with the same great experience they expect when they dine with us,” Mike Archer, CEO at Houlihan’s said.

“Our brands continue to outperform competitors in sales and traffic and our profitability is improving across the Company. This transaction provides us the opportunity to advance these successes and focus on our growth going forward,” Archer added.

Landry’s operates Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, Claim Jumper, McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’s The Steakhouse, and the Rainforest Cafe.

Landis Rath & Cobb LLP, M-III Partners, LP is serving as Houlihan’s financial advisor while Piper Jaffray is the company’s investment banker.

The independently-owned franchises are not a part of the bankruptcy filing, the company said.

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