TGI Fridays to List in London as U.K. Relaxes Covid Rules

TGI Fridays will be listed in London in the third quarter of the year, its private-equity owner said, days after the U.K. allowed indoor dining to resume following months of lockdowns.

Electra Private Equity Plc also said it plans to float shoe retailer Hotter on London’s junior AIM market in the fourth quarter by reclassifying its listing, according to a statement.

Fridays, the U.K. franchise of the American-themed restaurant chain, had an investment valuation of 146.2 million pounds ($207 million) as of March 31, Electra said. The company traces its history to a restaurant that opened in New York in 1965 with the slogan, “In here, it’s always Friday.”

The initial public offerings come amid a surge in London listings, with proceeds this year totaling $11.6 billion. That already exceeds 2020’s full-year tally, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The public markets are currently reflecting post Covid-19 value for well-positioned consumer businesses,” Electra Chairman Neil Johnson said in the statement.

Rather than pursuing sales, a number of private-equity firms including Permira and EQT AB have chosen to list their assets on European exchanges this year as cash-rich public-market investors pile into new stocks.

After the reopening in England and Wales on May 17, the first three days of business brought like-for-like sales growth of 76% compared with 2019 at Fridays. That reflected the “release of pent-up demand following the national lockdown,” Electra said.

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