Nashville, Tennessee-A private investment firm planning to acquire long-ailing Shoney's Inc. in a leveraged buyout says expanded franchising should help spur growth of both the company's concepts, Captain D's Seafood and the flagship Shoney's restaurants. Shoney's, which operates and franchises about 380 namesake restaurants and about 560 Captain D's units, agreed to be taken private by the Dallas-based affiliate of Lone Star Funds for about $18.2 million and the assumption of about $225 million in debt. The deal still is subject to shareholder approval but is expected to be completed before July. -Nation's Restaurant News