Carlson Sells TGI Fridays For Reported $800M

Carlson said Tuesday it agreed to sell restaurant chain TGI Fridays to Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners, as the hospitality and travel company looks to focus on its hotel business.

The deal for Fridays, whose menu includes burgers and steaks, values the restaurant at $800 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Carlson expects the transaction to be completed by July.

Carlson declined to comment on the reported sale price. A spokesperson for Sentinel and TriArtisan didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Minneapolis-based Carlson, which also owns the Radisson hotel chain, acquired Fridays in 1975 when the brand had just 12 locations. Fridays now has more than 900 restaurants worldwide with sales of $2.7 billion in 2013.

Fridays employs 70,000 people at its namesake restaurant chain, Fridays FrontRow Sports Grill and Fridays American Bar.

“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.”

Selling TGI Fridays will free up resources that Carlson can use to accelerate the growth of its hotel and travel businesses, Rautio added.

Sentinel will be the majority shareholder of Fridays. Earlier this year, the private equity firm scored a deal to buy Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, the parent company of the Checkers and Rally’s chains.

“TGI Fridays is an iconic global brand with a long history of solid performance and a significant opportunity for future growth,” said John McCormack, a Sentinel senior partner.

TriArtisan lost an auction last year for CKE, which owns fast-food restaurants Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) is one of TriArtisan’s investors.