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Norfolk Business Awards 2019

Frankie & Benny's owner to buy Wagamama for £559m

PUBLISHED: 08:54 30 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:08 30 October 2018

Wagamama noodle bar at Chapelfield shopping centre in Norwich. Photo: Paul Hewitt

Wagamama noodle bar at Chapelfield shopping centre in Norwich. Photo: Paul Hewitt

The owner of Frankie & Benny's is to acquire rival restaurant chain Wagamama in a deal worth £559m.

The Restaurant Group - which also owns Garfunkel’s, Joe’s Kitchen and Chiquito - will fund the deal through a combination of cash, debt and a rights issue.

Wagamama is being sold by private equity firms Duke Street and Hutton Collins.

Wagamama has an outlet in Norwich’s city centre, where Frankie & Benny’s is in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, and King’s Lynn.

Restaurant Group chief executive Andy McCue said: “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.”

Mr McCue has been overseeing a turnaround at the Restaurant Group, which has seen a revamp of pricing, food quality and marketing, as well as restaurant closures.

He now plans to accelerate the rollout of Wagamama’s across the UK, expand concessions and pilot pan-Asian cuisine “food-to-go” offerings.

The firm will also explore international growth opportunities for Wagamama.

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