TGI Fridays, the restaurant chain famed for its high-energy waiting staff is to be floated on the stock market with a potential value of around £275 million as the winding down of its investment trust owner Electra Private Equity enters its final stage.
After an assault by activist investor Edward Bramson in 2016, Electra began selling off its assets and is now left with just TGI Fridays and Hotter Shoes, a comfy shoe maker.
Today it announced that it would be demerging and floating TGI on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, leaving Hotter the only asset left in the Electra plc.
Likely to be worth about £45 million according to analysts, Hotter will be moved down onto the junior Aim stock market.
Electra said it had decided to keep the two companies on the stock market rather than sell them outright because this way shareholders would be able to benefit as the market for restaurants and consumer sales improves now Covid lockdowns are ending.
“Plans are well advanced for both listings,” chairman Neil Johnson said.
In April, Electra sold its Sentinel Performance Solutions heating and hot water treatment business for £22 million to a Dutch company, leaving just TGI and Hotter to go.
Having been closed for months, all 87 TGI Fridays have reopened and have seen sales up 19% on levels in the pre-Covid same weeks of 2019.
At Hotter, the group has shifted to selling direct to consumers during the pandemic.
Electra is seen as one of Bramson’s successes, unlike his failed effort to force Barclays to ditch its investment banking arm and focus on retail banking.
Barclays chief executive Jes Staley refused to comply, and its investment bank ended up delivering strong returns beating its high street-only rivals during the corporate fundraising frenzy during the pandemic.
Bramson quit his assault on the bank two weeks ago.
When he began his campaign at Electra, it had a stock market value of £1.7 billion. Its disposals so far have allowed it to return £2 billion to shareholders.
He resigned from the Electra board in 2019 but installed a colleague from his Sherborne Investors group in his place.