Eathos, a Dubai-based restaurant operating company has acquired sushi restaurant chain, SushiArt.
The move marks the first acquisition for the company, which has franchise rights for Kababji Grill, Tortilla Mexican Grill and Rita’s Ice.
Co-founder of SushiArt, Cedric Cerf, will remain on the management team to oversee the transition period, whilst Eathos takes over operational management and the growth strategy for the brand.
Cerf commented: “We have successfully brought this premium, innovative concept to the UAE, and after three years of pursuing our Dubai dream, we have found ourselves at a crossroad. To grow SushiArt to its full potential across the region, we required the investment support and the GCC network and experience that Eathos could provide.
“After months of careful consideration, negotiation and due diligence, we agreed that Eathos presented the right fit for the SushiArt brand, the business and the team. I look forward to working with Eathos during the transition phase.”
SushiArt is the GCC franchisee of globally renowned Sushi Shop, which was founded in France in 1998 and currently has over 100 branches globally.
The concept combines fine dining in a modern Japanese-style setting with quick and efficient service.
The brand opened its first Dubai outlet in 2013 in the DIFC and now has four outlets in the UAE, serving more than 300,000 meals per year across dine-in and delivery.
All brands and restaurants are then run by Eathos’ own management team.
Nadim Majdalani, CFO and business development director at Eathos, said: “This is our first acquisition, successfully meeting our investment criteria in terms of profitability, operational excellence and readiness for expansion. We strongly believe in the brand’s remaining rollout potential in the UAE, as well as its upcoming success across the GCC, Egypt and Lebanon.
“We remain actively on the lookout for further partnerships with successful concepts that serve exceptional food, and which can benefit from Eathos’ operational know-how and network to unlock their full regional potential.”
Expansion of the SushiArt brand will see the opening of a Motor City venue in the UAE, while a wider GCC expansion will begin in Saudi Arabia, with two sites signed in Riyadh and one in Jeddah, expected to launch later in 2016 and in 2017.
The business is forecast to more than triple in size in the next four years.
Adrien de Schompré, co-founder of Sushi Shop Group said: “We are very excited about the new opportunities that this transaction offers for our franchise business in the Middle East.
“We have been extremely proud of and thankful for the great job performed by our first Middle Eastern franchisee, establishing SushiArt as a destination of choice for casual sushi, and look forward to a fruitful collaboration with Eathos as they accelerate the rollout and take the brand regional.”