The private equity firm behind fashion chain Jack Wills is said to be looking at strengthening in the foodservice arena with a reported £100m deal for Yo! Sushi, the UK’s largest Japanese restaurant chain.
Inflexion Private Equity, which specialises in buying high growth, entrepreneurial businesses, has emerged as the frontrunner to buy the group, which operates 70 stores, according to Sky News reports.
Although there are no certainties that an agreement between Inflexion and Yo Sushi’s current owner Quilvest will be reached, the midmarket private equity house is understood to have been given a period of exclusivity within which to negotiate a deal.
If a deal is struck, it would mark the end of Quilvest’s seven-year association with the chain. During that time Yo! Sushi has expanded its UK presence and opened stores in Europe, the Middle East and the US. It now employs more than 1,500 people globally.
Yo! Sushi was founded in 1997 by Simon Woodroffe, who was one of the original participants on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme.