Bain completes $2.1bn Skylark restaurant deal


Global private equity firm Bain Capital has clinched Japan’s largest buy-out since the Lehman shock following its agreement to buy the Skylark restaurant chain for ¥128bn ($2.1bn) in equity.

According to Reuters, sources earlier this month disclosed that the deal would be valued at about ¥260bn yen ($3.4bn) including debt, although Bain has only revealed the size of the equity stake.

Japanese banking giant Nomura and other investors will relinquish their stake in Skylark to coincide with Nomura’s quarterly earnings announcement. The bank hopes to shed some of its riskier assets to meet global capital requirements over the next few years.

Bain entered talks to acquire the chain last year but the sale was put on hold following the Japanese earthquake in March and a rash of dysentery that shut 120 of its restaurants last month.

Although some analysts anticipated that Bain would table a smaller offer following the outbreak, the $3.4bn bid remains the same as it was before the earthquake.

Skylark operates around 3,600 stores in Japan including the Jonathan’s, Gusto and Bamiyan Chinese restaurant chains. Nomura Holdings acquired its 77 per cent stake in the company through a management buy-out in 2006.

London-based private equity firm CVC also held a stake in the restaurant following a $10.6bn Asia Pacific-focused buying spree in 2006, but lost it in 2009 after failing to repay a loan owed to Chuo Mitsui Capital.

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