Investor row worsens at Wagamama owner the Restaurant Group

19 May 2023 by
Investor row worsens at Wagamama owner the Restaurant Group

A row among investors at Wagamama owner the Restaurant Group (TRG) escalated yesterday when a hedge fund accused the company of withholding information from shareholders.

Oasis Management Company, which holds a 12.3% stake, has been involved in an increasingly bitter fight with TRG's chairman Ken Hanna over its strategy and pay package.

The Times has reported that Oasis has written to Hanna expressing "deep concern" that ISS, a proxy shareholder advisory group, was made aware of a commitment by TRG to review its remuneration policy after the annual meeting.

Investors will be asked to vote on the policy next Tuesday but Oasis and several others plan to vote against the pay package for chief executive Andy Hornby, who received £792,000 last year.

Oasis has criticised Hornby's pay as "disproportionate" given TRG's share price has fallen by around 70% since he took over in 2019.

Meanwhile, Sky News reports that TRG has won the support of another of its largest investors ahead of its annual meeting.

Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), which owns just under 5% of TRG, will vote in favour of the board and pay policy on Tuesday.

It comes after TRG's largest shareholder Columbia Threadneedle Investments, which holds a 19% stake, said earlier this month it would back Hornby and Hanna.

TRG owns more than 400 UK restaurants under brands including Frankie & Benny's, Chiquito, Coast to Coast, Firejacks, and pub group Brunning & Price. It acquired Wagamama for £559m in 2018.

The company posted a first quarter trading update last week which showed like-for-like sales had risen across its brands.

A spokesperson for TRG previously said: "We will continue to let our numbers do the talking."

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