Private equity firm Apollo to acquire The Restaurant Group in US$623 million deal

The Restaurant Group operates bars & restaurants and a concessions business which trades at UK airports and rail locations

UK/USA. US private equity giant Apollo Global Management has secured an agreement to buy The Restaurant Group (TRG) for US$623 million. The takeover is expected to be completed by early 2024 and will require 75% shareholder approval to proceed. 

Over the last few years TRG, which owns the popular Japanese chain Wagamama, has struggled with financial losses. In September, it announced that Chairman Ken Hanna would step down following months of pressure from activist investors to change management and improve profitability. 

A snapshot of TRG financial highlights, FY 2022; click to enlarge. Source: TRG

TRG Concessions is the division that manages airport and rail contracts across the UK, with over 20 brands in its portfolio.

The casual dining operator reported half-year revenues of US$576 million and adjusted EBITDA of US$44 million in the six months to early July.

Under the terms of the agreement (via acquisition vehicle Rock BidCo), Apollo will pay 80 cents per share in cash for TRG, reflecting a significant +34% premium compared to the stock’s last closing price. Today morning, the shares in TRG rose over +37%. 

Apollo’s offer values the company, including debt, at an enterprise value of US$864 million. 

The TRG Directors, Oasis Management Company Ltd., Irenic Capital Evergreen Master Fund LP and others, had “unanimously recommended” the scheme.  

It agreed to sell its loss-making Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito brands to Cafe Rouge owner Big Table Group last month in a bid to bolster margins and cut debt. 

Wagamama first opened its doors in Bloomsbury (London) in 1992

Apollo stated that “the development of TRG will be best served as a private business, with access to capital and the benefit of a long-term investment approach.” 

A glance at TRG Concessions portfolio at UK airports

Apollo, which has around US$617 billion worth of assets under management, has previously secured deals in the restaurant and entertainment sector primarily with North American companies. This includes investments in the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain. The private equity firm has recently shown interest in publicly traded UK companies. ✈


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Elişa pictured with Jamie Oliver

Elişa Roche has been appointed Editor-in-Chief, bringing a rare combination of culinary and journalistic excellence and experience to the role. Elişa trained as a chef as part of ‘Jamie’s Kitchen’, a British TV show watched by millions and fronted by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. She went on to work as Chef de Partie at some of London’s top Michelin-starred kitchens, e.g. Fino (now Barrafina), The Ivy and Bambou.

Cooking later turned to food writing and presenting, most recently as overseeing editorial partnerships at Food Matters Live. Elişa was also Host and Producer of award-winning B2B podcast ‘Career Conversations’, encouraging young people into the food & drinks industry.

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