Yo! Sushi chief executive Robin Rowland has denied claims that the conveyor-belt restaurant chain is up for sale, as the company celebrated its 10th birthday in London last night.
The statement follows speculation that Yo! Sushi might change hands after Primary Capital, the private equity group that owns 60.5% of the restaurant group, hired advisers last year to review options concerning the chain.
However, Rowland said that far from recommending a sale, Primary, which backed a £6.5m management buy-out of Yo! Sushi in 2003, suggested a £17.5m refinancing, a move completed last December with the aim of accelerating growth.
Founded by entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe in 1997, Yo! Sushi now has a portfolio of 36 restaurants, including 29 UK and seven international outlets. The company has an aggressive expansion strategy in place and plans to grow to 100 restaurants by 2010.
Rowland said: "The business has more than proven itself in the UK and one of our key focus in the coming years is to bring the excitement and the quality of the Yo! Sushi brand to millions of new restaurant goers."
By Kerstin Kühn
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