Fridays’ backer Electra Private Equity has said it plans to list the business on the FTSE Main Market late in the third quarter of this year.

In an update on the London Stock Exchange this morning (21 May), as part of its results for the half year to 31 March 2021, Electra also revealed it would be listing its other large portfolio asset Hotter Shoes, on AIM, and said plans for both listings were well advanced.

Neil Johnson, chairman of Electra Private Equity, said: “The new management teams at our two remaining larger portfolio assets, Fridays and Hotter, have performed admirably through the pandemic, not just sustaining their businesses in the most difficult circumstances, but also transforming them.

“In light of this, and their potential for further significant longer-term value creation, the Board has decided that the optimal outcome for shareholders is likely to lie in a capital market solution for both businesses.”

Electra said it had confidence in the strategy for Fridays to achieve accelerated and sustainable growth. Its valuation in March this year stood at £146.2m, up from £106.6m in September 2020 and £141.4m in September 2019.

It said the board was comfortable that the published valuations were a reasonable reflection of Fridays as it prepares to emerge from lockdown, as “a much stronger and more rounded business”.

Electra said the market had been equally transformed with a significant reduction in competition coming out of the market – through the closure of an estimated 21% of direct competitor restaurants.

Highlights for the half year included all 87 of Fridays restaurants, including its new Fridays site in site and first 63rd + 1st venue, in Cobham, having opened this month.

In the three weeks since restricted dine in trade has been in operation in Scotland, Fridays’ eight sites there recorded sales up 14% on the same period in 2019. While the first three days of business following reopening across England and Wales on 17 May, saw like-for-like growth of 76% vs. 2019.

A further three Fridays and four 63rd + 1st venues are in the pipeline for opening over the coming months. The business is also continuing to develop its delivery and digital channels, with Jailbreak Chicken – a delivery-only brand launched on a trial basis during lockdown, now available in 19 towns and cities across the country.