Carlson, the US-based parent company of TGI Friday’s, is in advanced talks to sell the casual-dining brand to buyout firm TriArtisan Capital Partners in a deal believed to be valued at around $850m, according to Reuters.
The report suggests that TriArtisan, the private equity arm of investment bank Morgan Joseph, has emerged as the lead bidder for the brand, which currently operates about 920 restaurants in more than 60 countries, including 61 in the UK under Karen Forrester.
In November, Carlson announced it was undertaking a corporate review of its strategic options, which could include a possible sale of the restaurant brand.
It appointed consultancy firm Piper Jaffray to review its options.
It is thought that TriArtisan has partnered with another buyout firm, Sentinel Capital Partners, in its bid for the business.
Carlson said TGI Friday’s was delivering a strong growth in sales and restaurant counts internationally, with highlights including UK comparative restaurants sales leading the category for four consecutive years.
Earlier this year, Forrester confirmed plans to open seven new sites this year in the UK, creating 700 new jobs in the process.
The group, which recently secured a site at Liverpool One for an opening this May, has further openings confirmed for this year in Brighton, Glasgow, Gloucester and Milton Keynes, as well as its first foray into rail transport hubs with a new concept at Manchester Piccadilly station.
The company is hoping to double the number of restaurants it has in the UK by 2020.