THE RESTAURANT GROUP

Acquiring Wagamama in a tough market

Challenge

To garner support from shareholders and other key stakeholders, including employees and customers, for The Restaurant Group’s proposed £559m acquisition of Wagamama, despite a backdrop of weak consumer confidence and volatile capital markets.

Solution

We made efforts to ensure the Company was on the front foot with the acquisition, communicating the strategic rationale and the long term growth opportunities, in the face of some public criticism from certain institutions.

To help counter this negative sentiment, we also sought out positive support from other key shareholders, and ensured this was reported across key media.

Execution

Alongside implementation of a strategic media campaign to support the acquisition, we also ensured the Company was abreast of all market and media reaction at all times.

We maintained a real time sentiment tracker, to monitor the supporters and detractors of the deal and also obtained feedback from sector analysts so that management were aware of the key issues which needed addressing.

Influence

Constructive relationships with the City commentators and sector correspondents were crucial in ensuring the strategic rationale for the deal was reaching shareholders.

The Company received a majority vote of approval for the acquisition and Rights Issue, with the deal completing in late December 2018, despite extremely choppy markets in the midst of Brexit turmoil.