TGI Fridays has been sold by Carlson Restaurants Inc. to private-equity firms Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners, according to multiple reports. The restaurant chain, which reported $2.7 billion in systemwide sales in 2013, was sold for $800 million, reports suggest.
Hospitality firm Carlson will continue to own TGI Fridays until the sale is completed, likely by July. Carlson began shopping TGI Fridays around in November, in an effort to focus more on its hotel and travel businesses. TGI Fridays plans to leave the current management team, led by President and CEO Nick Shepherd, in place.
“We are proud of the Fridays brand and strong marketplace momentum that has been created over the past nearly four decades,” says Carlson President and CEO Trudy Rautio. “This transaction is a win for all parties, and we are excited and confident that under Sentinel’s ownership Fridays will continue to experience significant growth and capitalize on new opportunities."
"For Carlson, this transaction frees up resources that the company can deploy to focus on and accelerate the growth of its hotel and travel businesses, at a time when significant opportunities exist in these markets," Rautio adds.
The first TGI Fridays restaurant opened in 1965 in New York City. Carlson acquired TGI Fridays in 1975 when the brand had 12 restaurants.
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group includes more than 1,340 hotels in operation and development, including the Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson Red, Park Plaza; Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global leader in business travel management.
Sentinel Capital Partners specializes in buying and building middle market companies in the United States and Canada in partnership with management. Sentinel targets aerospace and defense, business services, consumer, distribution, food and restaurants, franchising, healthcare, and industrial businesses.Sentinel invests in management buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures, and going-private transactions of established businesses. Sentinel also invests in special situations, including balance sheet restructurings and operational turnarounds.
TriArtisan Capital Partners is the merchant banking arm of Morgan Joseph TriArtisan LLC. TriArtisan makes investments in market leading companies in partnership with accomplished management, leading private equity funds and institutional limited partners.