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Mon 2nd Jul 2018 - Update: Wagamama, sector debt, Tesco/Carrefour
Private equity firms circle Wagamama: The FT has reported that some of the largest private equity groups in Europe and the US are circling Wagamama ahead of its sale, which could come as early as this summer. The FT stated: “Wagamama has been the subject to inquiries from groups including Bridgepoint, the London-based buyout fund that recently agreed the sale of sandwich chain Pret A Manger, and CVC. Separately, KKR, the US buyout giant, and L Catterton, the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, have also expressed interest in a business that its owners hope could sell for as much as £750m. Duke Street and Hutton Collins appointed Goldman Sachs to look into strategic options. The Asian noodle bar runs 130 restaurants in the UK, five in the US and close to 60 franchises around the world. A sale could even still be ruled out or Wagamama could be acquired by a trade buyer, the people added. L Catterton, Bridgepoint, CVC, KKR, Duke Street and Wagamama declined to comment. Hutton Collins was not immediately available. Wagamama, whose sales grew 8 per cent last year, has also received an approach from private equity investor Eddie Truell that would value the business at about €600m, according to informed people, but it was rejected by the owners as too low.”

Data shows increased debt at top restaurant companies: Data released by UHY Hacker Young showed that the restaurant industry is also suffering, hit by slower consumer spending and higher business costs. The UK’s biggest 100 restaurant groups grew their debt pile by 19 per cent in the past year to £1.96bn from £1.65bn, UHY said. 

Tesco and Carrefour form strategic alliance: Tesco and Carrefour have announced their intention to enter into a long-term, strategic alliance. The Alliance will cover the strategic relationship with global suppliers, the joint purchasing of own brand products and goods not for resale. It will be governed by a three-year operational framework. The Alliance will enable both companies to improve the quality and choice of products available to their customers, at even lower prices thereby enhancing their competitiveness. This agreement will also allow both companies to strengthen their relationships with their suppliers and create significant opportunities for those suppliers. Each company will continue to work with supplier partners at a local and national level. It is anticipated that the Alliance will be formally agreed within the next two months. Following formal agreement, both parties will start to work towards realising the benefits outlined above. Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said: “I’m delighted to be entering into a strategic alliance with Carrefour. By working together and making the most of our collective product expertise and sourcing capability, we will be able to serve our customers even better, further improving choice, quality and value.” Alexandre Bompard, chairman and chief executive of Carrefour Group, said: “This strategic alliance between Carrefour and Tesco is a major agreement as it combines the purchasing expertise of two world leaders, complementary in their geographies, with common strategies. This agreement is a great opportunity to develop our two brands at the service of our customers. This international alliance further strengthens Carrefour allowing it to reach a key milestone in the implementation of its strategy.”

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