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Activist hedge fund TMR Capital circles Wagamama owner

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Activist hedge fund TMR Capital is plotting a bid for The Restaurant Group in a move that would break up the FTSE 250-listed hospitality company behind Wagamama, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph.

The British Virgin Islands-based manager, which has built up a 1.75% stake in The Restaurant Group, is reportedly considering a bid for the company’s Brunning & Price pub division and its casual dining chains, which include Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito.

The two divisions operate more than 100 sites across the UK, and a purchase would leave The Restaurant Group with just Wagamama and a collection of bars and pubs it operates at airports and train stations. The activist hedge fund, which has approached the board with its early-stage proposals, believes the deal would ease The Restaurant Group’s debt burden and allow Wagamama to grow faster.

City analysts cited in the report indicate a “knockout” offer would be sized around £200 million.

No price has yet been discussed, with TMR Capital pushing for more detailed financial information ahead of a possible formal bid. City analysts have said a “knockout” offer would be around £200m.

TMR is one of a number of hedge fund activists and other investors currently circling The Restaurant Group. These include Hong Kong-based Oasis and New York-based groups Coltrane Asset Management and Irenic Capital.

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