Wagamama bought by Frankie & Benny's owner The Restaurant Group

By Laura Mullan
The Restaurant Group has announced that it will buy Asian restaurant chain, Wagamama,in a deal worth GBP£559mn (US$713.6mn). The deal plans to acceler...

The Restaurant Group has announced that it will buy Asian restaurant chain, Wagamama, in a deal worth GBP£559mn (US$713.6mn).

The deal plans to accelerate Wagamama’s UK expansion plans by converting The Restaurant Groups' outlets into Wagamama restaurants, strengthening international growth and exploring delivery opportunities.

The Restaurant Group — which also owns brands like Frankie & Benny's, Garfunkel’s Joe’s Kitchen and Chiquito — will swallow up the Asian chain which now has 133 UK restaurants, five US restaurants, and 58 franchise sites across Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand.

The Restaurant Group is anticipating £22mn (US$28mn) in cost synergies from the acquisition.

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Andy McCue, The Restaurant Group Chief Executive, described the acquisition as an “exciting and transformative opportunity.”

He added: “The transaction not only gives us a great brand but also creates a business with a multi-pronged growth strategy which will enhance earnings.”

Private equity groups Duke Street and Hutton Collins acquired the restaurant chain for around GBP£215mn (US$274.3mn) in 2011.

After the deal, Wagamama will continue to operate as an autonomous division of the group.

Jane Holbrook, Wagamama CEO, will be stepping down following the transaction. 

She will be succeeded by Chief Growth Officer Emma Woods.

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