Hornby in the firing line at Wagamama as activist investor calls for overhaul arguing bosses have ‘misplaced focus’

Former HBOS chief Andy Hornby has come underneath stress after an activist investor issued a rallying cry for an overhaul at the agency he now runs.

Hedge fund Oasis Management slammed The Restaurant Group (TRG), proprietor of Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s’ board, arguing bosses had ‘misplaced give attention to long-term worth creation’.

Oasis – which owns 6.5 per cent of the leisure enterprise – stated in a letter that pressing adjustments had been wanted to sort out the group’s dismal share value.

Under fire: Former HBOS boss Andy Hornby (pictured) is in the spotlight again after an activist investor issued a rallying cry for an overhaul at the firm he now runs

Under fireplace: Former HBOS boss Andy Hornby (pictured) is in the highlight once more after an activist investor issued a rallying cry for an overhaul at the agency he now runs

In retaliation TRG, which owns 423 venues throughout the UK together with the Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s chains, stated it had rejected Oasis’s request for a board seat and calls for a strategic overview of the firm led by an ‘impartial financial institution’. 

The assault by Oasis means Hornby – who’s Restaurant Group chief government and who headed Halifax Bank of Scotland when it was delivered to its knees in the 2008 monetary disaster – is in the highlight once more. 

Shares at TRG have sunk 66 per cent over the previous 12 months. Hong Kong-based Oasis stated it made it ‘certainly one of the worst performing share costs of any UK leisure firm’, far behind its rivals.

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The crash was ‘disproportionately worse than what the influence of the difficult sector backdrop would alone justify’, it stated. 

It has been a torrid time for the sector as pubs and eating places’ restoration from the Covid pandemic has been blighted by eye-watering vitality invoice hikes and inflationary stress on customers which have crimped excessive road spending.

A ‘disaster of confidence’ had led the investor to induce the hospitality enterprise to ‘urgently focus on with its shareholders the necessity for significant, speedy and near-term governance change’.

But TRG pointed to the Covid pandemic and cost-of-living crunch as having ‘created big challenges’ for hospitality corporations throughout the nation. 

But bosses stated ‘swift and decisive administration actions’ throughout the pandemic meant the firm had been ‘efficiently guided via a particularly difficult interval’.

TRG’s response stated its efficiency had ‘been robust when in comparison with the wider UK informal eating sector’ and famous lots of its rivals had been privately owned.

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