Mayfair Equity Partners leads race for Yo! Sushi in deal worth £100m

Kasmira Jefford
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THE RACE for Yo! Sushi is heating up after a new buyout firm run by former head of Lloyds’ private equity arm emerged as a frontrunner to buy the restaurant chain, in a deal valued at around £100m.

Mayfair Equity Partners was founded earlier this year by Daniel Sasaki, who previously led Lloyds Banking Group’s LDC and oversaw deals including the acquisition and float of drinks brand Fever Tree.

The company is understood to be the frontrunner to buy Yo! Sushi. However private equity firm Inflexion could still launch a counter-bid after previously being the favourite to buy the firm.

Yo! Sushi was bought by private equity firm Quilvest in 2008 for around £51m. Under its watch, the company has since grown to over 90 sites including 10 franchises in the Middle East, Ireland and Scandinavia.

It is looking for a buyer to fund its expansion in the US after recently launching its first two restaurants and where it plans to open around 50 sites over the next six years.

The group recorded total sales up seven per cent to £75.8m in the year to 30 November 2014 and underlying earnings of £10.06m, up 7.8 per cent on the previous year.