Shares in Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group fell 3% on Tuesday after PizzaExpress owner Wheel Topco scuppered hopes it might submit a bid that would rival the £701 million ($862 million) offer put forward by private equity fund Apollo Global Management. In a statement posted on the London Stock Exchange, Wheel Topco announced that “due to market conditions, it does not intend to make an offer for TRG,” after it previously requested due diligence information from the pub and restaurant owner in October.
Wheel Topco’s request for due diligence information had raised hopes the PizzaExpress-owner might submit a counter offer for TRG, after U.S. private equity firm Apollo struck a deal with TRG’s board to buy the restaurateur for £701 million in October. The PizzaExpress-owner was subsequently revealed to have hired bankers from Goldman Sachs to help it draw up plans to buy a sizable stake in TRG, according to Sky News. Analysts at Stifel had previously suggested Apollo’s “unsolicited” offer to buy out TRG for 65p a share could flush out a rival bid for the London-listed firm. Shares in TRG had stayed just above rates of 65p per share since news of Apollo’s offer. Now, TRG’s share price