Last word

Leisure group Whitbread has sold its TGI Friday’s restaurant chain for £70.4m (US$138m) as part of the strategic review of its restaurants business announced last year. The property interests in 15 of the chain’s 45 UK restaurants will be sold to British Land, with the remaining 30 properties and the operating business sold to TGI Friday’s UK, a joint venture between Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc and ABN AMRO Capital.

  • Jefferies International, a subsidiary of US-based Jefferies Group, today announced that its UK affiliate, Helix Associates Limited, a private equity fund placement agent, has hired Clive Norton as a Managing Director in the firm’s London office. Norton has extensive experience in private equity, including fundraising, with Goldman Sachs and previously with Merrill Lynch. He retired from Goldman Sachs in September 2006 as Co-Head of the Private Equity Group’s European operations and is continuing as a consultant to that firm through January 2007. At Helix Associates in London, Norton will be responsible for the generation and coordination of mandates, working closely with the London-based geographic teams. He will also be responsible for the Firm’s activities in the Nordic Region, where he has extensive knowledge and long-standing relationships.
  • A takeover approach for UK garden centre operator Blooms of Bressingham Holdings has come from a consortium led by property and retail entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, the Financial Times reported. Blooms said Tuesday that it was in preliminary takeover discussions after receiving an indicative offer of 85 pence per share from an unnamed bidder, valuing it at £29.7m.