Frankie & Benny’s owner to buy Wagamama for £559m
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.'
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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.
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The firm will also explore international growth opportunities for Wagamama.