Irish franchise ‘unaffected’ by £357m Wagamama takeover deal

The owner of Garfunkel’s, Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s snaps up noodle chain

The Press-Up Entertainment Group owns the Irish franchise for Wagamama

The Irish franchise owner for the Wagamama noodle chain says its business is unaffected by a takeover deal for the international restaurant brand.

The UK’s Restaurant Group said on Tuesday it had acquired the Wagamama chain for £357 million (€400 million) in cash, expanding its network of pubs and airport and shopping mall eateries.

The Irish franchise holder, Press Up Entertainment, the diversified bar and hospitality group operated by Paddy McKillen jnr, runs three Wagamamas in Dublin: South King Street below the St Stephen’s Green shopping centre, Dundrum Town centre and the Blanchardstown Centre.

“The sale of Wagamama global to Britain’s Restaurant Group will have no implications for the Irish outlets – each restaurant will continue to operate as normal,” said Press Up, which also owns venues such as the Liquor Rooms in Temple Bar and the Stella cinema in Rathmines.


The takeover deal marks a shift for Restaurant Group, most of whose restaurants and gastropubs focus on American, TexMex and traditional British cuisine and is expected to generate cost synergies of about £22 million.

Restaurant Group will launch a £315 million rights issue to fund the deal, which it expects to be earnings enhancing in the first full year and accretive thereafter.

The company said the deal had an enterprise value of £559 million, and included 138 directly-operated restaurants in the UK and the US and 58 franchised restaurants in Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand.

Wagamama began in 1992 in London’s Bloomsbury and has expanded steadily into a national presence since, becoming a familiar feature on the high streets.

The deal will be funded through a combination of cash, debt and the rights issue.

– Additional reporting Reuters

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times