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Wagamama to ‘review strategic growth options’

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Wagamama to ‘review strategic growth options’

Japanese-style restaurant chain Wagamama has appointed Goldman Sachs to “review strategic growth options” for the business.

The Times reports the owners are considering selling the business, encouraged by the sale last week of Pret A Manger to JAB Holdings for £1.5b.

Wagamama is owned by UK-based private equity firms Duke Street and Hutton Collins, who bought the company from Lion Capital in 2011 for a rumoured £215m.

The business, which was founded in London in 1992 by restaurateur Alan Yau, has 130 restaurants in the UK, five in the US in New York and Boston and 51 franchises around the world. In recent months it has strengthened its US management team and will be opening two new sites in New York in the next 12 months.

Despite the problems plaguing UK high street casual dining brands, Wagamama recently recorded 208 consecutive weeks of UK market outperformance, and over the last four years has outperformed the market by 8.2%, according to the Coffer Peach Tracker.

Chief executive Jane Holbrook said: “Our vision is for Wagamama to become an iconic global brand and we are excited to explore the strategic options which will help us do this.”

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