International restaurant chain Wagamama’s owners may be selling the brand — for a princely sum of up to GDP 230 million (US $364 million), according to a report in the UK’s The Times newspaper today.
Lion Capital, a private equity firm focusing on the consumer sector, has a 70 % controlling stake in the famous restaurant chain.
After a previous unsuccessful attempt to sell the restaurant brand in 2007, Lion plans to hire Anglo-French banking group Rothschild ROT.UL to find a buyer, the newspaper reported.
According to The Times, the process is likely to start next month, with an expected price tag of £230 million to £260 million.
The speculation came as Wagamama prepared to reveal strong annual results — with underlying earnings up 22% to £20.9 ($33) million in the 12 months to April and sales up 8.6% to £109.6 ($174) million.
Lion could not immediately be reached for comment.
Founded in 1991 by Alan Yau, also responsible for the Hakkasan brand, Wagamama today boasts 66 outlets in Britain and 39 across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.