Activist Oasis takes 5% stake in Wagamama owner
Oasis Management, an activist hedge fund based in Hong Kong, has acquired a 5% stake in The restaurant Group, the casual dining and pub operator and owner of the UK-based, Japanese food-inspired restaurant chain Wagamama, according to a report by the Financial Times.
The report cites a company filing as revealing that Oasis, which owns 423 venues across the UK, including the Mexican themed Chiquito restaurant chain and Italian-American themed Frankie & Benny's, in November last year.
Oasis has a track record of agitating for change in UK businesses having at one point acquired nearly a fifth of the shares of British food manufacturer Premier Foods and then leading a campaign, alongside US hedge fund Paulson & Co, to oust long-standing chief executive Gavin Darby accusing him of "persistent value destruction".
The Restaurant Group's share price has fallen by about 65% over the past year despite sales in the six months to July of last year almost doubling from the same period in 2021 to £432 million. In December, The Restaurant Group’s lenders agreed a £340 million funding package for the business.