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Mon 9th Nov 2015 - YO! Sushi confirms £81m sale, Robin Rowland to resume as chief executive
YO! Sushi confirms £81m sale, Robin Rowland to resume as chief executive: YO! Sushi has confirmed a sale of the business for £81m to Mayfair Equity Partners, with executive chairman Robin Rowland resuming his previous role as chief executive – current chief executive Vanessa Hall is stepping down to explore other opportunities. During her two years with YO! Sushi as chief operating officer and then chief executive, Hall has overseen the opening of 20 restaurants, 13 in the UK, four in the US, and four international franchised restaurants. Hall has focussed on continuous expansion and innovation, positioning YO! Sushi as a lifestyle brand through design innovation, menu development and creative marketing campaigns. Rowland said: “We completely understand and respect Vanessa’s desire to explore new opportunities outside of YO! Sushi. Having been with the company since September 2013, Vanessa has made an invaluable contribution to the building of the brand both in the UK and abroad. We thank her for her commitment and wish Vanessa all the best in the future.”Hall added: “With the new owners in place, this is a good time to explore other opportunities in the fast-growing restaurant and dining sector. I have greatly enjoyed my time at the helm of YO! Sushi working with an amazing team of people, helping to establish YO! Sushi as one of the UK’s leading fast casual dining options. I look forward to seeing its growth over the next few years, both in the UK and abroad.” Mayfair has acquired its stake in YO! Sushi from the company’s majority shareholder, Quilvest Private Equity, which is fully exiting the business. Management will retain a minority shareholding. Mayfair’s investment provides additional capital to support the business’ growth in the UK and international markets. ICG and Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking provided debt facilities to support the transaction. Spayne Lindsay & Co. was the financial adviser to Mayfair, with Linklaters providing legal counsel. Mayfair’s managing partner Daniel Sasaki said: “In a highly competitive and fast moving segment of the market, YO! Sushi’s innovative approach to casual dining has seen it consistently deliver fantastic eating experiences to a truly global customer base. The management team has built a robust and dynamic company with a fantastic brand. We look forward to truly investing in the business, partnering with the management and supporting them in this exciting phase of the company’s development.” Rowland added: “In Mayfair we’ve found the right partner to support YO! Sushi through its next stage of development. YO! Sushi offers an accessible, fun and healthy eating out experience no matter when and what the meal occasion. This presents us with significant further growth both in the UK and internationally, and we look forward to working with Daniel and the team to fulfil this potential.” YO! Sushi was founded in 1997 and now has more than 70 restaurant including three sites opened this year in the US. YO! Sushi UK reported turnover rose to £75,813,083 in the year ending 30 November 2014 compared to £71,046,785 in the previous year. In Companies House documents, it reported pre-tax profit fell to £3,847,758 from £4,693,872 the year before. Underlying like-for-like sales grew 3.8% for the year with Ebitda of £10,061,000, an increase of 7.8%.


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