Private equity buys Sushi Sushi and plans 30 NZ stores

By Sarah Stowe | 20 Mar 2019 View comments

Sushi Sushi is selling a majority share in its business to Odyssey Private Equity and the management team, led by CEO Scott Meneilly.

Meneilly said “Our team are very proud of what has been achieved in building Sushi Sushi into the business it is today. We are looking forward to working with Odyssey to grow the business and capitalise on the many opportunities that are available to us.

“Our recently opened wholesale division has exceeded our expectations and is a fantastic addition to our brand, as will be our first store in NZ which opens in May, followed by our NSW store openings later this year.”

Sushi Sushi buy-out

Paul Readdy , Odyssey Private Equity partner, said “This is a great chance for Odyssey to partner with a highly experienced management team, who have contributed to the success of companies like Boost Juice, Retail Zoo and now Sushi Sushi.

“The growth in demand for sushi and Japanese inspired food more generally, is being driven by consumers’ demand for healthy and convenient meals. We believe that Sushi Sushi’s commitment to innovation, consumer experience and quality food will continue to fuel the company’s growth”.

Sushi Sushi is a vertically integrated food business. It has an office in Tokyo, warehouses and a fleet of trucks in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria.

It distributes product through a network of company owned stores, franchisees and commercial sales channels. Sushi Sushi will grow its own store network through a variety of flexible formats across the country.

The buyout is expected to take place at the end of March 2019 under confidential terms.

The company will continue to operate out of its Melbourne head office and processing facility in Mount Waverley.

One of the brand’s founders Anna Kasman said “We have a strong leadership team in place who share my passion for the business and obsession with quality and under the guidance of an experienced investor like Odyssey, I am confident that the business will continue to prosper.”

Scott Meneilly told Inside Franchise Business “Anna will remain a shareholder however she will be stepping away from day to day operations and I will run that with the management team.”

Sushi Sushi plans 30 stores in New Zealand

The sushi chain is targeting 30 store openings in New Zealand. The first outlet will be in the newly redeveloped wing of Botany Town Centre shopping centre in Auckland.

Sushi Sushi will include a Create Your Own Hand Roll station in the new store. This allows customers to build their ideal hand roll from a range of new gourmet ingredients including beetroot rice and black rice.

For the first time Sushi Sushi will offer hot sushi options as part of the range such as crispy chicken and panko prawn.

The store is larger than the average footprint at 85sqm to allow for a bigger, more atmospheric dining experience and a greater range of sushi across the display cabinet and grab n’ go fridge.

The store will also feature a 2m virtual ‘koi pond’ digital wall. Customers will have the opportunity to win a trip to Japan in the first month of the store opening by snapping a photo of the rare ‘golden koi’ swimming across the koi pond and posting the image to social media to enter the draw.

This article has been updated with details about NZ and comment from Scott Meneilly.