The Restaurant Group acquisition of Wagamama to go ahead

The Restaurant Group’s (TRG) acquisition of Wagamama is to go ahead despite 40% of shareholders voting against the deal.

Shares in the group sank by 13% on Wednesday, with big name shareholders concerned about price and debt levels for the group. Debbie Hewitt, chairwoman of TRG, said she was pleased that the majority of shareholders voted for the deal, which she felt would create “significant long-term value”.

She added: “The acquisition of Wagamama creates a raft of new opportunities for us to capitalise on in the months and years ahead.”

At the end of October, the Frankie and Benny’s owner announced it had conditionally agreed to purchase Mabel Topco, operating as Wagamama for a cash payment of £357m.

At the time TRG CEO Andy McCue, said “The transaction not only gives us a great brand but also creates a business with a multi-pronged growth strategy which will enhance earnings with continued selective UK rollout, accelerated via conversions of some TRG sites; by further leveraging the brand in concessions both in the UK and internationally; by maximising the opportunities presented by the rapidly growing delivery sector; and by optimising the potential within international markets.”

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