Blackstone Group, the US private equity firm, has acquired Tragus Holdings, the casual dining group, for £267m. The deal for the operator of the Café Rouge and Bella Italia chains is approximately 10.7x ebitda. Barclays Capital is also providing a capex facility of £40m to fund future growth and acquisitions plus working capital of £15m. Blackstone is backing the existing management team, led by Graham Turner, who will be significant investors in the company. It also said it will support Tragus in its existing growth plans and expects to help the group consolidate its position as one of the largest restaurant groups in the UK. Tragus currently operates over 160 sites in the UK, including 88 Café Rouge, 67 Bella Italia, and four Ortega, its Spanish tapas concept. It also operates four brasseries under the brands Amalfi, Oriel and Abbaye. Turner, chief executive, said: “Our core brands go from strength to strength, and we believe that our recently launched new Spanish concept, Ortega, has much potential. “We look forward to continuing the group’s successful growth and to maximising the strength of our brands in the rapidly developing UK restaurant sector with the support of Blackstone.” The company’s sale to Blackstone follows the appointment in September of Close Brothers to advise it on its strategic options. It was thought that the company was going to undertake a £200m-plus stock market flotation, with Legal & General, 85% owner, believed to favour an initial public offering. Blackstone last year acquired Merlin Entertainments, owner of the London Dungeon and various Sea Life Centres, and took Center Parcs private in a £250m deal earlier this year. Hawkpoint and Lovells advised the Tragus management team on the deal. Legal & General Ventures was advised by Citigroup and Close Brothers.