The Restaurant Group places bid to acquire Wagamama

The Restaurant Group has proposed to acquire the Asian-style restaurant chain, Wagamama, for a cash payment of £357mn (US$455mn).

The bid placed by the British group, which owns brands such as Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito, brings Wagamama’s enterprise value to £559mn ($712.4mn).

The Restaurant Group referred to Wagamama as “a differentiated, high growth brand with clear structural advantages” that is “well aligned to key structural trends, addressing customer demand for speed of service, delivery and healthy options”.

The Asian-style food firm, which initially opened its first restaurant in 1992 in London, operates 133 restaurants in the UK and five in the US, as well as 58 franchise sites in Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand.

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“This transaction is an exciting and transformative opportunity to create a business which can pursue a truly multi-pronged growth strategy and create substantial value for our shareholders,” remarked Andy McCue, CEO of The Restaurant Group.

Wagamama was acquired by Duke Street and Hutton Collins, the private equity firms, for £215mn ($274.3mn) in 2011.

According to the Allan Leighton, the Chairman of Wagamama, the company’s CEO will be stepping down following the completion of the deal, after five years in the position.

Jane Holbrook will be succeeded by Emma Woods, the chain’s Chief Growth Officer.

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