Carlson announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of TGI Fridays Restaurants to Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners. The Wall Street Journal reported that the sale of the global restaurant chain values Fridays at more than $800 million, including debt. The transaction is expected to close by July 2014. “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,” said Carlson President and CEO Trudy Rautio in a statement. The first TGI Fridays restaurant opened in 1965 in New York City. Carlson acquired the brand in 1975 it had 12 restaurants. Now, it has more than 900 restaurants in operation globally in 60 countries and reported system-wide sales of $2.7 billion in 2013.