Private equity firm acquires TGI Fridays UK

by Erica Shaffer
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LONDON – A London-based private equity firm acquired the United Kingdom franchise of TGI Fridays. Electra Private Equity PLC announced a £100 million ($155.1 million) investment in the deal. TGI Fridays has 66 restaurants in the UK. ICG and Barclays provided debt facilities for the transaction.

Electra Partners is an independent private equity fund manager. The firm's major client is Electra Private Equity PLC, a private equity investment trust which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

"TGI Fridays is exactly what we look for in an investment - an attractive, differentiated business with an impressive financial track record and an excellent management team, said Bill Priestley, partner at Electra Partners. "We look forward to working with Karen Forrester and her team to develop the business further through a mixture of organic growth and new restaurant openings, while at the same time continuing to improve the existing sites."

Forrester, CEO of TGI Fridays UK, said Electra Partners is capable of supporting the franchise’s growth ambitions as the company looks to expand the TGI Friday's market share in the UK.

"TGI Fridays best-in-class service, unique bars and exciting dining environments create a unique guest experience with a wide demographic appeal," she said. "The enthusiasm of our team members is the key to this and they will remain at the center of our offering."

For the year ending in Sept. 30, Electra Partners reported a record level of investment of £410 million ($636 million) on behalf of its major client Electra Private Equity. Electra Partners also completed three control buyouts and, including co-investments and bolt-on transactions, 10 deals in total.

"This is the first new investment we have made since announcing a record level of investment for the year to Sept. 30, 2014, and we are delighted to have been able to put more of Electra Private Equity's cash to work in such a promising opportunity" said Alex Fortescue, chief investment partner of Electra Partners. "Our deal flow remains strong and we are confident that 2015 will yield more exciting opportunities."
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