Wasabi secures £20m credit facility to fund 20 stores and CPU

Wasabi, Birmingham New Street station

Restaurant chain Wasabi is laying the foundations for further store growth in the UK and US after securing a funding package worth £25 million from HSBC.

The Japanese sushi and bento specialist will use the finance injection to build on its existing footprint and improve its central production facilities.

The funding is largely made up of a £20m three-year revolving credit facility, which will be used to finance the launch of a further 20 new sites. In addition to the UK, the company wants to expand its presence in New York.

HSBC has also provided £4m of asset finance to develop Wasabi’s 65,000 square feet warehouse, which houses its new Central Processing Unit (CPU).

Wasabi has invested in the CPU to enhance its in-house food production capability so that it can improve its service and food quality. The company is committed to retaining as much control over food production as possible.

The funding package is completed with a £1m overdraft facility to support the company in the ongoing development of its business.

Scott Etherington, finance director of Wasabi, 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.”

Wasabi has been operating for 13 years and currently runs more than 40 outlets across London, a further seven elsewhere in the country and two in New York.

James Sawley, head of retail and leisure UK at HSBC, said: “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.”

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