Dallas-Based TGI Fridays To Go Public via $220M Acquisition by U.K. Franchisee

Upon the deal's completion, the new combined entity would be named TGI Fridays plc and listed on the London Stock Exchange as "TGIF," with both U.S. and global operations remaining in place at the company's Dallas HQ under the leadership of CEO Weldon Spangler.

Dallas-based restaurant company TGI Fridays announced its agreement to merge with Hostmore plc, a UK-based hospitality business and the brand’s largest global franchisee, in a deal that would see the British company acquire the chain for a reported $220 million.

“We’ve been laser focused on revitalizing the brand and driving growth through consumer-centric offerings, the optimization of our restaurant portfolio, and the addition of senior team members,” TGI Fridays CEO Weldon Spangler said in a statement. “This transaction represents the next step in our journey as it increases our corporate-owned restaurant locations and provides capital to expand our presence globally.”

Left: TGI Fridays CEO Weldon Spangler; Right: Stephen Welker, Chairman of Hostmore [Photos: PR Newswire/Hostmore]

“Hostmore is the perfect partner to help us achieve our vision, as they understand the importance of bringing ‘That Fridays Feeling’ to guests in the brand’s largest international market, operating 89 locations in the U.K.,” Spangler added.

TGI Fridays said the deal is expected to close in the third quarter and would create a global hospitality brand, offering the casual restaurant pioneer operational and financial flexibility, increased scale, and capital to deliver continued revenue and an “exceptional experience” for TGI Fridays customers.

The news comes three months after the company closed 36 underperforming locations in 12 states in a streamlining move, several weeks after naming Spangler as its third CEO within a year.

$1.4B in total 2023 sales

TGI Fridays reported $1.4 billion in total systemwide sales in 2023.

The company said that once the deal is completed, the new combined entity would be named TGI Fridays plc and listed on the London Stock Exchange as “TGIF” with both U.S. and global operations of the brand remaining in place at the company’s Dallas headquarters under Spangler’s leadership.

The combined entity would have 189 corporate-owned restaurants in the U.S. and the U.K. for a total of nearly 600 restaurants across 44 countries.

‘The home of celebrations’

Calling itself “the world’s first casual bar and grill,” TGI Fridays has announced a new $5 Happy Hour program and “on-trend” beer, wine, spirits, and non-alcoholic drinks, like its most recent Tax Break cocktail.

“This acquisition would give us the scale and flexibility to accelerate our existing strategy and enhance the financial outlook for Hostmore and scope for shareholder returns, while also strengthening our ability to provide an exceptional guest experience by harnessing our distinctive, trusted brand as the home of celebrations,” Hostmore Chairman Stephen Welker said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting our existing and new shareholders the opportunity to participate in the significant value creation potential of the combined group going forward.”

Over the past year, TGI Fridays said it has strengthened it leadership team with the November 2023 appointment of former Dunkin executive Spangler to CEO, as well as the appointments of Ray Risley to U.S. president and chief operating officer, and Nik Rupp to president of international markets and CFO.

TGI Fridays is controlled by TriArtisan Capital Advisors, a U.S.-based private equity firm, with ownership stakes in several global consumer recognized dining concepts including P.F. Chang’s, the internationally recognized leader in Asian dining, C3, one of the fastest growing tech-enabled food service and IP platforms, and Hooters of America, the iconic sports bar, media, and entertainment company.

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R E A D   N E X T

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