Carlson acquires remaining 60 percent stake in 46 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in the UK from AAC; Carlson to invest USD 100 million in UK T.G.I. Friday's restaurants over the next five years

Minneapolis, MN | July 29, 2010

Carlson, a privately held global hospitality and travel company today announced that it has acquired the remaining 60 percent stake in T.G.I. Friday’s UK Holdings LTD from AAC Capital Partners, a leading Northern European mid-market buy-out firm, for USD 50 million.

The acquisition is part of Carlson’s strategy to invest more than USD 100 million to both acquire and fuel further growth of the Friday’s® brand in the UK market over the next five years. 

“As a global hospitality company, our objective is to continue to grow our core hotel and restaurant brands, and the T.G.I. Friday’s UK acquisition is a tremendous opportunity to expand in an established market that is familiar with our brand,” said Hubert Joly, president, chief executive officer and director, Carlson. “We are confident that T.G.I. Friday’s in the UK will continue to perform well for our company and our guests, and we believe the brand’s strong momentum provides the potential for continued global expansion.”

Carlson’s investment in its UK restaurant operations supports Ambition 2015, Carlson’s global growth strategy. For its T.G.I. Friday’s brand, the Ambition 2015 strategy aims to expand the brand’s portfolio by at least 160 by 2015 to nearly 1,100 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants in operation in more than 60 countries, Joly added.

“We are very pleased with the performance by our UK business operations,” said Nick Shepherd, president and chief executive officer, Carlson Restaurants. “We believe in the strength of the T.G.I. Friday’s brand, and are enthusiastic about our initiative to grow in the UK and in other key, global markets.”

About Carlson

Carlson is a privately held, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Carlson encompasses more than 1,075 hotels, including, Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® and Park Plaza®; more than 1,000 restaurants, including T.G.I. Friday’s® and Pick Up Stix®; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 150,000 people. www.carlson.com

Contacts:

Joan Cronson (Global), 1 763-212-1418 jcronson@carlson.com

Derek Farley, DFPR, for T.G.I. Friday’s, 1 704-926-6580 derek@dfpr.com

 

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