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Yo! owner 'eyes London IPO' which could value the conveyer belt sushi restaurant at more than £750m

This Is Money logo This Is Money 20/09/2021 Sadie Whitelocks For This Is Money
a plate of food on a table: MailOnline logo © Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo

The owner of sushi restaurant Yo! is understood to be taking further steps towards an IPO that could value it at more than £750 million.

The Snowfox Group is set to hold a presentation for City analysts ahead of a formal announcement of it intention to float on the London stock market as soon as mid-October month, reports Sky News.   

News of the possible listing first emerged this spring as it looked to navigate a post-Covid recovery and it is understood that it will be led by bankers at Numis. 

a bowl of food on a plate: ( © Provided by This Is Money (

Yo! told This Is Money that it had 'no further comment' on the matter. 

Yo!, which was previously known as Yo Sushi before a rebranding exercise in 2019, was founded by entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe and opened in 1997. 

Video: Reddit eyes IPO in 2022: RPT (Yahoo! Finance)

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It quickly became famed for its conveyer belt service, allowing guests to self-select dishes as they pass by. 

Like many other casual dining chains, Yo! is backed by private equity. 

Its owner, Mayfair Equity Partners, gave Richard Hodgson (who has been the CEO since 2017) the brief of turning the firm from a 'pretty small UK business in a challenged sector' into a 'truly exciting global business', ahead of an eventual sale. 

To this end, Yo! has expanded internationally on a grand scale since Mayfair took control in late 2015. 

First it spent £59 million on a takeover of Bento Sushi, the largest sushi manufacturer in Canada, where sushi is so mainstream it's sold in schools. 

Next it snapped up Taico, a London sushi manufacturer that supplies Waitrose, and then in June 2019 Yo! agreed a merger with SnowFox, one of the largest operators and franchise owners of sushi kiosks in the US. 

The deals mean Yo! has more than 100 restaurants worldwide, from Paris to Istanbul and the UAE, and 1,400 Snowfox, Taico and Bento kiosks in supermarkets, train stations, hospitals, universities and airports.  


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