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Wagamama mulls stock market float

Horeca

Noodle bar chain Wagamama could be gearing up for a £50m-plus stock market flotation. Chief executive Ian Neill confirmed: ‘Yes, it is true. It’s something that we’re looking at seriously.

‘I wouldn’t expect that to be any great surprise, because we are private-equity backed.’

The company is 60% owned by venture capital firm Graphite Capital, which has been an investor since 1996.A further 13% of Wagamama is owned by its management.

Wagamama has 22 restaurants in the UK and four franchises abroad.New openings are planned over the next few months in the City of London, Brent Cross in north London, Sydney, Australia, and in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Dubai.

The aim is to have about 60 restaurants in total within the next three years.Neil said other options apart from a flotation included a trade sale, or maintaining the status quo.

But he thought a flotation the most likely option. ‘The stock market is looking promising. People seem to be gaining a bit of confidence’, he said.’The companies that come to market are going to have to show a good track record, which I’m sure we will be able to demonstrate. The business is progressing very well and we’re accelerating our expansion.’

‘I wouldn’t expect that to be any great surprise, because we are private-equity backed.’

The company is 60% owned by venture capital firm Graphite Capital, which has been an investor since 1996.A further 13% of Wagamama is owned by its management.

Wagamama has 22 restaurants in the UK and four franchises abroad.New openings are planned over the next few months in the City of London, Brent Cross in north London, Sydney, Australia, and in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Dubai.

The aim is to have about 60 restaurants in total within the next three years.Neil said other options apart from a flotation included a trade sale, or maintaining the status quo.

But he thought a flotation the most likely option. ‘The stock market is looking promising. People seem to be gaining a bit of confidence’, he said.’The companies that come to market are going to have to show a good track record, which I’m sure we will be able to demonstrate. The business is progressing very well and we’re accelerating our expansion.’

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