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Sun 26th Mar 2017 - Former Boris Johnson adviser eyes £530m Wagamama takeover, Tenpin's £100m float plan
Former Boris Johnson adviser eyes £530m Wagamama takeover: A former adviser to Boris Johnson is plotting a £530m takeover of Wagamama. Financier Edi Truell is one of a handful of suitors to have made tentative approaches for the company in recent months. Speculation is mounting the business will soon be put up for sale. The chain has been owned by investment firms Hutton Collins and Duke Street since 2011. Truell – who advised the former London mayor on pensions and investments and has been a prominent donor to the Conservative Party – is believed to be working on a joint bid with a restaurant operator. That would pit him against his former private equity firm. Truell set up Duke Street in 1998, and left in 2007. He has already attempted to pick up a chunk of Wagamama. Last year he offered to buy Duke Street’s investors out of the fund that holds its stake in the chain. Goldman Sachs eventually bought out the investors. The transaction is said to have valued Wagamama at significantly less than £500m. Peter Taylor, Duke Street’s managing partner, told The Sunday Times: “Wagamama is an outstanding restaurant brand; naturally, the company receives expressions of interest from time to time. However, there are no live discussions and none planned.”

Tenpin owners close in on £100m float deal: The owners of the bowling alley operator Tenpin are closing in on a float that will value it at about £100m. Tenpin, which operates 40 sites across the country from Plymouth to Edinburgh, is ultimately owned by Harwood Capital. Harwood, the fund manager run by the activist investor Christopher Mills, bought Tenpin’s then owner, Essenden Leisure, in August 2015 in a transaction that took the company off the London Stock Exchange’s Aim market. Harwood recently bought six Bowlplex sites to add to Tenpin’s existing estate. It is understood Tenpin’s backers are seeking to return the company to the stock market, reports The Sunday Telegraph. It would follow the September 2016 flotation of Hollywood Bowl, which has a market capitalisation of £244m. The broker Numis is advising Tenpin.

Bannatyne pays out £11.5m: The health chain founded by Duncan Bannatyne paid dividends of £11.5m last year, when it shelved plans for a £300m float. The Bannatyne Group, which operates gyms, spas and hotels, saw pre-tax profits rise from £7.7m to £11.6m last year on revenue 11% higher at £112.2m. The former Dragons’ Den star pulled its stock market plans after regulatory scrutiny. The aborted float led to a one-off cost of £2.4m, reports The Sunday Times.

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