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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 31st Oct 2016 - Wasabi secures £25m funding package for UK and US expansion plans
Wasabi secures £25m funding package for UK and US expansion plans: London-based Japanese sushi and bento business Wasabi has secured a funding package worth £25m from HSBC to help fund its ambitious expansion plans in the UK and US. The funding is primarily made up of a £20m three-year revolving credit facility that will be used to fund the roll-out of 20 new sites. In addition, HSBC has provided £4m of asset finance to develop Wasabi’s 65,000 square foot warehouse, which houses the new central processing unit. It will enhance Wasabi’s in-house food production capability to further improve its service and food quality, as part of Wasabi’s commitment to retaining as much control over food production as possible. HSBC is also providing a £1m overdraft facility to support Wasabi in the ongoing development of its business. Wasabi finance director Scott Etherington said: “This is a very important moment in the development of our business. With a well established presence in London, successful outlets in major regional cities and two branches in New York, this deal provides us with the backing to push on to the next stage of our expansion plans in the UK and internationally. HSBC’s sector knowledge and global footprint gives us the support we need to achieve our ambitions.” HSBC head of retail and leisure UK James Sawley added: “The growing popularity of sushi and the ‘food to go’ market across the UK has enabled Wasabi to grow quickly but organically, ensuring each new outlet is adapted for its local market. We worked closely with the business to ensure this deal was tailored to Wasabi’s growth strategy and provided the business with a solid platform for growth here and overseas.” Wasabi was founded by Korean Dong Hyun Kim in London in 2003. Today the business, with its mission to “deliver fast, flavoursome and affordable food”, operates 41 outlets across London, seven outside the capital and two in New York.

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