Duke Street in Talks to Sell Stake to France’s Tikehau

Duke Street Capital Ltd., owner of Britain’s Wagamama restaurant chain, is in talks to sell a stake in itself to a French investment firm after dropping plans to raise a new private-equity fund last year, two people with knowledge of the talks said.

Duke Street may sell a 35 percent stake to Paris-based Tikehau Group for as much as 30 million euros ($39 million), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. Tikehau, which oversees about 1.5 billion euros, may have the option to increase its stake in the future, one of the people said.

The private equity firm will use the money to start a new investment fund this year, the people said. Duke Street may seek to raise as much as 300 million euros for that pool, one of the people said.

The company shelved an 850 million-euro fund-raising last year as the European sovereign debt crisis damped investor appetite for private equity funds. The London-based firm raised a 963 million-euro pool in 2007.

Officials at Duke Street and Tikehau declined to comment.

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