YO! Sushi (“YO!”), the iconic Japanese restaurant group, today announces the acquisition of Bento Sushi (“Bento”), North America’s second largest sushi brand, creating a global multi-channel and multi brand sushi platform. The acquisition values Bento at CAN $100 million and has been facilitated by Mayfair Equity Partners, who partnered with the YO! management team as part of a management buyout in 2015.
With YO!’s international restaurant network across Europe, the Middle East and Australia, the combined business becomes one of the largest sushi companies outside Japan, providing an international, multi-brand, multi-channel offering, well placed to benefit from the continuing increase in consumer interest in healthy, provenance-rich foods. The acquisition will create synergies and enable the continued growth of both businesses, particularly in the US market. The combined businesses have recorded sales of approximately £175 million over the last twelve months.
The acquisition of Bento comes after two transformational years for YO!, in which Mayfair Equity Partners bought into the business and Robin Rowland returned to the role of CEO. Following a renewed focus on the brand, product, and people, including the appointment of several senior team hires, the business has seen like-for-like sales growth of +5% over the past 18 months. Eight new sites opened in the UK this year, as well as the Group’s first sites in Manhattan, Paris and Sydney.
Robin Rowland, Chief Executive Officer of YO!, commented: “We’ve successfully reinvigorated the business over the last two years to ensure the foundations are in place for long term growth. This acquisition takes YO! into the next stage of its development, and creates the first global multi-channel Japanese food purveyor. Bento’s proposition and its management team’s strong track record make it the ideal partner for YO! as we look to further grow our brand.”
Glenn Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Bento Sushi, stated: “This partnership presents Bento with an incredible opportunity to grow its platform. YO! and Bento share a similar ethos and history, and we look forward to working with the YO! team and taking advantage of opportunities to develop both brands.”