Over the past year, TRG, which owns the popular Japanese chain Wagamama, has had to contend with financial losses. In September, the company announced that its chairman, Ken Hanna, would resign after months of pressure from activist investors to change management and improve the company's profitability. Last month, TRG sold its loss-making Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito brands to Cafe Rouge owner Big Table Group, in a bid to increase margins and reduce debt.

In a statement, private equity firm Apollo said it believed TRG's development would be best served as a private company, with access to capital and the advantage of a long-term investment approach.

TRG is set to return to profit this year, after four years of losses, mainly linked to the Covid period.

A sector with few players left in Europe... outside the UK

The "Restaurant and Bar" segment of the European stock market is fairly sparse, but largely dominated by British players. Apart from catering colossuses(Compass, Sodexo, Elior) and double-hatted hotel players(Whitbread), the main representatives are Domino's Pizza and pub chains such as Mitchells & Butlers, J D Wetherspoon, Young & Co, Loungers and Marston's. There are also specific players such as Greggs (fast food) and SSP (travel food). On the mainland, on the other hand, the situation is bleak. Since Groupe Flo's departure from the Paris stock exchange after years of agony, there are hardly any major players left. I can mention Ibersol, a Portuguese company with a string of North American franchises in Europe, or Noho, a small Finnish player operating hotels and restaurants. There's even a Romanian company, Sphera, which operates the same kind of brands as Ibersol.