Get All Access for $5/mo

Longtime Owner Sells TGI Fridays for $800 Million After nearly four decades of ownership, Carlson sold the restaurant chain to two private-equity firms.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

TGI Fridays derives its name from the expression, "Thank Goodness It's Friday." Today, the restaurant's owner can say, "Thank Goodness It's Sold."

After 40 years of ownership, hospitality and travel company Carlson announced Tuesday that it has agreed to sell the restaurant chain to Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners. The company put TGI Fridays up for sale last November, and expects the transaction to close by July 2014.

While an official price hasn't yet been released, The Wall Street Journal reports that Carlson values Fridays at more than $800 million, including debt, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Related: Pizza Hut's Biggest Franchisee Says Company Needs to Up Its Digital Game

"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," Carlson CEO Trudy Rautio said in a statement.

Carlson's best known brand is the Radisson hotel chain. The company has more than 1,340 hotels in operation and development.

While TGI Fridays was Carlson's lone restaurant chain, its new owners are no strangers to restaurant franchises. Sentinel's portfolio includes major Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Church's Chicken franchisees and the Checkers Drive-In Restaurants and Tony Roma's franchisors. And, TriArtisan was in franchising news last year after reports that the private-equity firm lost an auction to buy the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's.

Related: The Top Franchise in Every Industry

Kate Taylor

Reporter

Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Leadership

How to Close the Trust Gap Between You and Your Team — 5 Strategies for Leaders

Trust is tanking in your workplace. Here's how to fix it and become the boss your team needs to succeed.

Marketing

6 Cost-Effective Ways to Acquire Brand Ambassadors

Boost your brand's visibility and credibility with budget-friendly strategies for acquiring brand ambassadors.

Health & Wellness

Get a Year of Unlimited Yoga Class Downloads for Only $23 Through June 17

Regular exercise has been proven to increase energy and focus, both of which are valuable to entrepreneurs and well-known benefits of yoga.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Side Hustle

'The Work Just Fills My Soul': She Turned Her Creative Side Hustle Into a 6-Figure 'Dream' Business

Kayla Valerio, owner of vivid hair salon Haus of Color, transformed her passion into a lucrative venture.

Business Culture

Why Remote Work Policies Are Good For the Environment

Remote work policies are crucial for ESG guidelines. Embracing remote work can positively impact your business and employees.