Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company based in Minneapolis, entered a definitive agreement to sell TGI Fridays Restaurants, Carrollton, Texas, to Sentinel Capital Partners and Tri-Artisan Capital Partners, both in New York. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by July 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.
“We are proud of the TGI Fridays brand and strong marketplace momentum that has been created over the past nearly four decades,” says Trudy Rautio, president and CEO of Carlson. “This transaction is a win for all parties, and we are excited and confident that under Sentinel’s ownership, Fridays will continue to experience significant growth and capitalize on new opportunities. For Carlson, this transaction frees up resources that the company can deploy to focus on and accelerate the growth of its hotel and travel businesses at a time when significant opportunities exist in these markets.”
This transaction represents the conclusion of a thorough and exhaustive strategic alternatives process initiated by Carlson for TGI Fridays in November 2013. TGI Fridays will continue to be led by president and CEO Nick Shepherd. Sentinel, who will be TGI Fridays’ majority shareholder, has extensive restaurant and franchising investment experience and a demonstrated ability to create successful independent businesses through complex corporate carve outs.
“We are very excited to partner with TGI Fridays’ outstanding management team,” says John McCormack, a Sentinel senior partner. “TGI Fridays is an iconic global brand with a long history of solid performance and a significant opportunity for future growth.”