Sentinel acquires TGI Fridays from Carlson


Sentinel Adds Iconic Brand to its Restaurant and Franchising Portfolio


NEW YORK, July 15, 2014 – Today Sentinel announced that it has acquired TGI Fridays® Restaurants from Carlson, Inc., a global hospitality and travel company. Sentinel partnered with TriArtisan Capital Partners in the transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Carrollton, Texas, the TGI Fridays system comprises more than 900 restaurants in 60 countries, including more than 500 restaurants in the U.S. TGI Fridays boasts the largest international presence of any U.S. casual dining chain, and customers around the world equate the highly recognizable brand with classic American fare and expert service.

"We are proud of the Fridays brand and strong marketplace momentum that has been created over the past nearly four decades," said Carlson President and CEO Trudy Rautio. "This transaction is a win for all parties and we are excited and confident that under Sentinel’s ownership Fridays will continue to experience significant growth and capitalize on new opportunities. For Carlson, this transaction frees up resources that the company can deploy to focus on and accelerate the growth of its hotel and travel businesses, at a time when significant opportunities exist in these markets."

The first TGI Fridays restaurant opened in 1965 in New York City, building a brand known for handcrafted American food and legendary drinks, served with genuine personal service. Carlson acquired TGI Fridays in 1975 when the brand had just 12 restaurants. Since that time TGI Fridays has become a brand loved around the world, today with more than 900 restaurants in operation globally in 60 countries and reported system-wide sales of $2.7 billion in 2013. TGI Fridays restaurants include TGI Fridays, Fridays FrontRow Sports Grill and Fridays American Bar, and employ over 70,000 people globally.

We are very excited to partner with TGI Fridays’ outstanding management team," said John McCormack, a Sentinel senior partner. "TGI Fridays is an iconic global brand with a long history of solid performance and a significant opportunity for future growth."

Sentinel, who is TGI Fridays’ majority shareholder, has extensive restaurant and franchising investment experience and a demonstrated ability to create successful independent businesses through complex corporate carve outs. Sentinel has completed numerous acquisitions of both franchisors and franchisees, including Checkers/Rally’s, the largest franchisor and operator of dual drive-thru hamburger QSRs in the United States; Newk’s Eatery, a rapidly growing fast-casual concept in the Southeast United States; Falcon Holdings, the largest franchisee of Church's Chicken restaurants; Huddle House, a leading franchisor of family dining restaurants in the Southeast; Massage Envy, the nation’s largest provider and franchisor of therapeutic massage and spa services; and Southern California Pizza Company, a 223-unit Pizza Hut franchisee operating in the greater Los Angeles market.