Monday 23 September 2019

Wagamama takeover agreed

 

'Wagamama, which has three outlets in Ireland, is being sold by private equity firms Duke Street and Hutton Collins.' Photo: PA
'Wagamama, which has three outlets in Ireland, is being sold by private equity firms Duke Street and Hutton Collins.' Photo: PA

The Restaurant Group has clinched approval for its controversial takeover of the Wagamama chain, despite a significant level of opposition from shareholders.

Proxy votes showed 61pc of shareholders supported the £559m (€630.6m) deal, which will be paid for through a combination of a £315m (€355m) rights issue and a £220m (€248m) revolving credit facility.

Full results were due to be published following a shareholder meeting. Major Restaurant Group investors including Columbia Threadneedle and US activists GrizzlyRock Capital and Vivaldi Asset Management have publicly voiced opposition to the acquisition in recent weeks, saying it had "red flags".

But shareholder advisory groups and other top shareholders such as JO Hambro have hit back with their own support.

Shares in The Restaurant Group were down 10pc following the announcement.

Wagamama, which has three outlets in Ireland, is being sold by private equity firms Duke Street and Hutton Collins. It was founded in 1992 by restaurateur Alan Yau, who went on to establish the Michelin-starred Hakkasan.

In recent years it has defied the troubles hitting the casual dining sector to report sales and profit growth.

PA Media

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