Wagamama gets new owner

Restaurant chain Wagamama has a new owner: British catering group The Restaurant Group has bought the Japanese-inspired formula for 630 million euro, substantially less than what the previous owner had hoped for.

 

Japanese noodles for 559 million pound

Private investors Duke Street and Hutton Collins were hoping to get 750 million pound (850 million euro) for Wagamama, according to the Financial Times, but the previous owners will have to make do with 'only' 559 million pound, including debts. 

 

The Restaurant Group is financing the acquisition with a new share issue, but investors did not respond with much enthusiasm to the news. The British shopping streets are ailing and catering chains are suffering along with them. Shareholders also fear that Wagamama is too far removed from The Restaurant Group's core business, which so far has been British and American cooking.

 

Wagamama has almost 200 restaurants worldwide, 130 of which are in Britain. The chain has just one restaurant in Belgium (Antwerp) and seven in the Netherlands (four in Amsterdam and one each in Roermond, Rotterdam and Utrecht). The chain was founded in London in 1992 and reached a 306.7 million pound (350 million euro) turnover during its last fiscal year, ending on 29 April.