Wagamama acquired by Restaurant Group in approve £559m takeover

(qlmbusinessnews.com via cityam.com – – Wed, 28th Nov 2018) London, Uk – –

The vote sent the Restaurant Group's share price down by almost 10 per cent.

The Frankie and Benny's owner had been set for a shareholder showdown after a number of investors voiced their intentions to vote down the proposed acquisition.

But despite 39.4 per cent of proxy voters opposing the deal, a senior Restaurant Group executive told City A.M. it was “not the knife edge” that had been expected.

Not a single question was asked by investors at a general meeting to vote on the acquisition this morning.

One shareholder backing the deal said: “People had made up their mind, the die was already cast.

“I'm a big fan of our restaurants and Wagamama will be a good addition to the business.”

Ahead of the vote Columbia Threadneedle Investments – a top five investor that controls a 7.7 per cent stake in The Restaurant Group – said that it would be opposing the Wagamama buyout over concerns around the size and the price of the deal.

The Restaurant Group said that the price was justified by the company’s growth rate and by the cost savings generated by combining the Asian food chain with its own operations.

A number of major shareholders also publicly supported the deal, with Schroders, Royal London Asset Management and J O Hambro all backing the proposals.

Influential proxy advisors Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis recommended that shareholders pass the proposals, while Pirc urged investors to oppose the deal.

By Callum Keown