Carlson Companies is thought to be close to agreeing the purchase of Whitbread’s 46 TGI Friday’s restaurants, reports The Times. Whitbread has franchised the brand from the American travel and hospitality group for the last 20 years. Whitbread could pocket about £70m from the deal. Talk of further stake building by Starwood Capital intensified on Friday. City analysts believe it would make sense for the American property investor to go for Whitbread. Whitbread closed up 17p at 1,557p. TGI managing director Tim Hammond is expected to leave the company this week. The Times 02/12/06 page 65 Daily Mail 02/12/06 page 106 (Market Report)