The Restaurant Group, the owners of the Frankie & Benny and Garfunkel’s restaurant chains, has struck a deal to buy Asian-themed chain Wagamama.
The deal values the business, which opened its first restaurant in central London in 1992, at £559m.
It plans to expand the chain, which it says is well placed to capitalise on the trend for healthy eating.
The Restaurant Group (TRG) owns a number of well-known fast-casual dining chains, including Chiquito and Joe’s Kitchen.
It says Wagamama has a “strong competitive advantage” as it is three times the size of its nearest rival, and is therefore the only substantial UK pan-Asian brand concept with scale.
Wagamama’s now has 196 directly-operated and franchised restaurants, and its most-recent figures show same-store sales growth rose by 9.6%.
The chain is chaired by Allan Leighton, who has been chief executive of supermarket chain Asda and chairman of Royal Mail, among many other senior high-profile roles.