Wasabi secures new bank funding for expansion

By Mark Wingett

- Last updated on GMT

Wasabi secures new bank funding for expansion

Related tags: United kingdom

Wasabi, the sushi and bento chain, has secured a new £25m bank loan from HSBC to help it open 20 new sites and develop its flagship 65,000sq ft central processing unit in London’s Park Royal.

According to BigHospitality's sister publication MCA Insight​, The new funding package for the 50-­strong group, which is set to open a new concept called Soboro Bakery in the Lion Yard scheme in Cambridge, £25m comprises a £20m three-­year revolving credit facility, a £4m asset finance deal for the warehouse and a £1m overdraft to support general business.

The £20m proportion will fund the roll out of 20 new sites. The company, which operates 41 sites in London, has further openings lined up in Oxford, New York and Camden. Last year, rivals Leon and Itsu secured new funding facilities with HSBC of £11.5m and £40m respectively.

Wasabi also operates the Korean-­influenced Kimchee concept, with the third site under the brand set to open at King’s Cross.

Scott Etherington, Wasabi finance director, 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.”

James Sawley, HSBC head of retail and leisure UK, 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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