TGI Fridays UK, the Karen Forrester-led restaurant chain, has appointed Al Gounder, formerly McDonald’s, as its new marketing director, MCA has learnt.

Gounder spent over eight and a half years at McDonald’s as regional marketing director for the Middle East and Africa region.

He has also had stints at Unilever and most recently Transport for London.

Last month, TGI Fridays UK backer Electra Private Equity said it had ended its formal sales process but said discussions continued on possible individual portfolio or group sales, which is thought to include the c80-strong restaurant chain.

As part of an ongoing strategic review, the company announced in May that it was exploring the possibility of selling some or all of the assets, and launched a formal sales process.

In an update to the market, the group said it had received interest but no formal offers and so was ending the process and terminating discussions with interested parties regarding potential acquisition of the company.

It said discussion continued with “a number of parties over the possibility of acquiring portfolio assets individually and in groups”.

Electra acquired the then 66-strong TGI Fridays in a c£225m deal at the end of 2014.