£559m Wagamama Takeover Confirmed By The Restaurant Group

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The Restaurant Group has validated the £559 million takeover of the company of Wagamama. It also thanked the shareholders who narrowly voted through the said deal.

The owner of Frankie and Benny’s had been set for a shareholder showdown after a number of investors voiced out their intentions to vote down the intended acquisition to acquire Wagamama from Duke Street, a private equity company, last November.

The said deal was passed, however, just under 40 percent of the shareholders opposed the deal with many concerned over the price and size of the deal.

On Monday morning, the group confirmed the completion of the takeover. It announced that Allan Leighton, the chairman of the Co-operative Group and Entertainment One, would be joining TRG as one of its non-executive directors.

Debbie Hewitt, the chairman of the company, stated: “We would like to thank all shareholders for their engagement in this process and we look forward to delivering the benefits of the acquisition.”

She added: “We welcome all Wagamama colleagues and thank them and all of our colleagues at the Restaurant Group for their continued focus on our customers during this busy period.”

Prior to the vote last November, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, a top five investor that controls a 7.7 percent stake in The Restaurant Group, said that it would be voting against the buyout of Wagamama over concerns regarding the price and the size of the deal.

The Restaurant Group disclosed that the price was justified by the growth rate of the firm and by the cost savings that were generated by combining the Asian food chain with its own operations.

Some major shareholders also supported the deal publicly, with Royal London Asset Management, J O Hambro, and Schroders all supporting the proposals.

Despite the 39.6 percent of shareholder votes that opposed the deal, a senior Restaurant Group executive disclosed that it was “not the knife edge” that had been expected.

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