The chairman of Wagamama’s dad or mum firm is to step down after months of stress from activist traders, whilst its monetary efficiency outpaces that of rivals.
Sky News has learnt that Ken Hanna, who has chaired The Restaurant Group (TRG) for the reason that starting of final 12 months, has knowledgeable boardroom colleagues of his intention to step down as soon as a successor is recognized.
In addition to Wagamama, TRG owns chains similar to Chiquito’s and Frankie & Benny’s.
The departure of Mr Hanna, a revered City determine who has chaired firms together with Aggreko and Inchcape, could possibly be introduced as early as Friday.
His plan to exit is known to have been motivated by a need to allow Andy Hornby, TRG’s chief govt, and colleagues to deal with steering the corporate by a difficult financial surroundings.
Oasis Management, a Hong Kong-based activist fund, owns practically 15% of the restaurant operator, and has been vocal in demanding a board seat and a variety of administrators to step down.
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“Ken clearly wants to avoid a prolonged and distracting dispute with Oasis when the company’s just reported a sector-leading set of results and another [profit] upgrade,” stated an individual near the corporate.
Earlier this week, TRG stated it had loved robust gross sales development within the half-year to 2 July, and that it was making good progress in slicing its debt pile and bettering margins.
Jason Molins, an analyst at Goodbody, described the assertion as “another reassuring update from the group”, whereas Douglas Jack at Peel Hunt wrote: “Our view is that the greatest value will be realised by allowing the company more time to rebuild profitability.”
On Thursday, shares in TRG closed up practically 4% at 44.2p, giving it a market worth of £334m.
A spokesman for TRG declined to remark.