The Restaurant Group Agrees to Sell Leisure Business to Big Table Group for £7.5 Million Cash
In a strategic move, The Restaurant Group (TRG) has reached an agreement to divest its leisure business, which includes popular chains such as Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito, to its competitor, Big Table Group. This transaction will see Big Table Group taking over the loss-making leisure business for a cash payment of £7.5 million.
Facing Challenges in the Leisure Business
The leisure business being sold comprises approximately 75 restaurants, a significant reduction from its previous count due to TRG’s closure of around 40 locations in response to declining trade over the past year. The decision to sell off this segment comes after months of pressure from activist investors associated with Wagamama owner TRG. These investors, led by Oasis Management, had been advocating for TRG to reassess its growth plans and also urged the departure of the company’s chairman, Ken Hanna, who announced his resignation last week.
Strategic Focus on Core Divisions
The completion of this deal is expected in the final quarter of 2023 and will enable TRG to concentrate its efforts on its core divisions, which include Wagamama, pubs, and concessions. TRG has expressed its commitment to actively exploring various strategic options to enhance its profitability.
Comments from Key Executives
Andy Hornby, the CEO of The Restaurant Group, commented on the sale, stating, “A sale of our leisure business significantly accelerates our medium-term strategic plans to increase adjusted Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) margins and reduce leverage. On behalf of TRG, I would like to express our massive thanks to the extraordinarily hardworking and dedicated teams across the leisure business who have made huge improvements in the customer proposition over the last few years. We wish them all well as part of the Big Table Group.”
Alan Morgan, CEO of the Big Table Group, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, noting, “Creating, developing, and acquiring brands that complement our existing portfolio whilst offering widespread consumer appeal is a fundamental part of our growth strategy. This exciting acquisition forms part of that strategy, and we are delighted to be welcoming this new team into The Big Table Group.”