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Bharti co GIPL in talks to buy Chili’s

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NEW DELHI: Gourmet Investments (GIPL), promoted by the Bharti Group, is in advanced talks with Chennai-based TexMex Cuisine to buy American casual dining chain Chili’s Grill & Bar restaurants in West and South India, sources said.

The deal size for 13 restaurants, each spread over 2,500-3,000 square feet, is estimated at Rs 100-120 crore. While a Gourmet Investments spokesperson declined to comment on the development, queries emailed to Ashish Saxena, executive director & CEO at TexMex Cuisine, went unanswered. If the deal goes through, it will be GIPL’s first attempt to expand its restaurant business through the inorganic route.

GIPL, led by Rakesh Bharti Mittal’s son Ramit Bharti Mittal, currently operates 15 restaurants and plans to open around 80 more by 2020.

Some of the international brands GIPL has brought into the country include PizzaExpress, Nihonbashi and Ministry of Crab owned by Sri Lankan cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. It also created The Typhoon Shelter in Mumbai

with Hong Kong-based celebrity chef Christian Yang.

Owner of the Chili’s Grill & Bar brand, Brinker International, operates more than 1,600 restaurants globally. In India, ownership rights of the chain that serves American and Mexican food is split between TVS Capitalbacked TexMex Cuisine and Stellar Concepts.

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