Business / Corporate

Genki Sushi to buy stake in rival Sushiro, source says

Reuters

The owner of restaurant chain Genki Sushi Co. will buy a one-third stake in bigger rival Sushiro Global Holdings Ltd. from private equity firm Permira, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Permira will sell its stake in Sushiro Global to Shinmei Co., the owner of Genki Sushi, said the person, asking not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to media.

Permira bought Sushiro in 2012 from Japanese private equity firm Unison Capital. The domestic market for conveyor-belt sushi market is expected to grow by about 25 percent to ¥625 billion ($5.55 billion) this year from ¥500 billion in 2012, according to research firm Fuji Keizai Co.

Permira, which paid about ¥80 billion for Sushiro to Unison, boosted the value of the company by cutting costs on fish ingredients by using its global network.

Sushiro shares closed at ¥3,625 on Friday morning, making it worth ¥99.7 billion.

A Permira official declined to comment on the sale, which was first reported by the Nikkei business daily on Friday.

Sushiro and Genki Sushi said in separate statements they were discussing the reported transaction at a board meeting on Friday.