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Investor calls for break up of The Restaurant Group - report

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Monday 22 May 2023

Investor calls for break up of The Restaurant Group - report

(Sharecast News) - The Restaurant Group is facing pressure from a US activist investor to break itself up, it emerged on Monday.
US hedge fund TMR Capital, which built up a small stake in the business earlier this month, is understood to be calling for the sale of all of brands except for Wagamama. TRG owns Brunning & Price, Frankie and Benny's and Chiquito, but according to the Sunday Telegraph, TMR believes that only Wagamama is core to the business.

The newspaper noted that following the break up, TMR then wants TRG to expand Wagamama before going private.

TRG, which holds its annual general meeting on Tuesday, has yet to comment on the report.

TMR is not the only shareholder agitating for change at TRG. Hong Kong-based hedge fund Oasis Capital has expressed "deep concern" over the management of the business, while New York investors Coltrane Asset Management and Irenic Capital want a change in strategy.

The hospitality sector, and casual dining in particular, has been rocked by the cost-of-living crisis and record inflation, as energy and ingredient prices surge. Earlier this year, TRG said 2022 losses had widened to £86.8m from £35.2m, and announced plans to sell a number of loss-making sites.

Annual sales, however, jumped to £883m from £636m, while current trading was "encouraging".

As at 1030 BST, shares in TRG were ahead 3% at 49.59p.


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