TRG sells Frankie & Benny’s business for £1

11th September 2023 | Jack Oliver

The Restaurant Group (TRG) has agreed the sale of its “loss making” leisure business, which includes the Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito chains, to rival Big Table Group for £1.

The sale comprises the business’s 75 sites as well as its associated management and restaurant teams and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of the 2023 financial year.

As part of the deal, TRG will make a £75m ‘dowry’ payment to Big Table Group, the operator of brands including Bella Italia, Las Iguanas, and Banana Tree. 

TRG, which owns the Wagamama restaurant chain and Brunning & Price pub group, has been in the process of “rationalising” its leisure estate over the last few months. This has involved the disposal of a number of loss-making sites, with some being converted to Wagamama restaurants.

As of December 2019, the group’s leisure estate comprised 350 sites, this number has since dropped to just 75.

Andy Hornby, chief executive officer of TRG, said the sale of significantly accelerates its medium-term strategic plans to increase adjusted earnings margins and reduce its leverage.

Alan Morgan, chief executive officer of the Big Table Group, added: “Creating, developing and acquiring brands that complement our existing portfolio whilst offering widespread consumer appeal is a fundamental part of our growth strategy. This exciting acquisition forms part of that strategy and we are delighted to be welcoming this new team into The Big Table Group.”

This comes after TRG said it is targeting between 200 and 220 Wagamama restaurants in the long-term, up from its current estate of around 160 UK sites.


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