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Carlson buys TGI Friday's UK from AAC

29 July 2010

Carlson, a privately held global hospitality and travel company, has bought the remaining 60% stake in TGI Friday's UK Holdings and plans to remodel and expand the casual restaurant chain over the next five years.

The deal sees Carlson acquire TGI Friday's from AAC Capital Partners for $50m (£32m). The group plans to invest a further $30m (£19m) to open new UK restaurants and will spend $20m (£12.8m) to remodel and maintain existing sites.

"As a global hospitality company, our objective is to continue to grow our core hotel and restaurant brands and the TGI Friday's UK acquisition is a tremendous opportunity to expand in an established market that is familiar with our brand," said Hubert Joly, president, chief executive officer and director at Carlson.

"We are confident that TGI Friday's in the UK will continue to perform well for our company and our guests, and we believe the brand's strong momentum provides the potential for continued global expansion."

TGI Friday's, which entered the UK in 1986, currently operates 47 outlets.

Carlson's investment in TGI Friday's UK forms part of its global expansion strategy, which aims to grow the brand's portfolio by at least 160 by 2015 to nearly 1,100 restaurants in more than 60 countries.

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By Kerstin Kuhn

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