Casual dining chain Yo! Sushi has been sold to private equity firm Quilvest and its existing management team led by chief executive Robin Rowland in a deal worth an estimated £50m.
Axelle Strain, partner at Quilvest, added: "We are delighted to have acquired such an iconic brand with excellent growth potential.
"Yo! Sushi's management team have demonstrated a strong track record of profitable growth, and we look forward to working with Robin and his team to build on their successful development."
The company was founded in 1997 by Simon Woodroffe with a £150,000 investment. In 2003 Woodroffe sold a 78% stake to venture capital firm Primary Capital for £6.5m as part of a management buyout led by Rowland.
Woodroffe stepped away from the running of the group, although he receives a royalty of 1% of UK turnover in perpetuity.
Outside the UK Yo! Sushi has outlets in Dubai, Kuwait, Dublin, Moscow and Kuala Lumpar.
Yo! Sushi is to open in Oxford's George Street after agreeing a deal with landlord Nuffield College. The deal, handled by agent Shelly Sandzer, will see the sushi chain open in a unit located between rivals Nando's and Giraffe.
By Chris Druce
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