YO! Sushi acquires Bento Sushi, creating a global sushi powerhouse
London, United Kingdom-based YO! Sushi has announced the acquisition of Ontario, Canada-based Bento Sushi, North America's second-largest sushi brand, for CAD 100 million (USD 78 million, EUR 66.6 million), allowing the two chains to further expand internationally.
The two restaurant groups had sales of more than GBP 175 million (USD 232 million, EUR 197 million) over the last year. Bento, which realized sales growth of 16 percent over the last three years, operates more than 600 restaurants and supplies sushi to 1,700 partner sites.
"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,” YO! Sushi said in a statement. “The acquisition will create synergies and enable the continued growth of both businesses, particularly in the U.S. market.”
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. YO! Sushi has realized sales grown of five percent over the past 18 months. It also opened eight new locations in the U.K. this year, as well as the company’s first sites in Manhattan, New York; Paris, France; and Sydney, Australia.
“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,” Rowland said
Bento’s locations include quick-service restaurants, on-site kiosks in supermarkets and other foodservice outlets. It also operates a number of production facilities that supply sushi to grocery and institutional foodservice clients across North America. Bento's success has been driven by company chairman Ken Valvur, chairman, and CEO Glenn Brown according to YO! Sushi. Both will join the board of YO! Sushi and become significant shareholders in the combined group.