The parent company of Japanese steakhouse Benihana is reportedly considering a sale, according to Reuters.
Private equity firm Angelo Gordon & Co purchased the chain for $296 million in 2012. It now values the restaurant at around $600 million, including debt. Multiple sources told Reuters that Piper Sandler Companies is working with the company on a sales process. The publication also learned that Benihana earns $60 million in annual EBITDA. However, finalization of a deal isn’t guaranteed.
Benihana has more than 100 restaurants across the U.S., the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. It also operates Japanese concepts RA Sushi and Samurai. The restaurant is known for its chefs who prepare a variety of dishes in front of customers.
In January, the company announced its growth plans for the year, with restaurants in Midland, Michigan; Conroe, Texas; Miami; Temecula, California; Plantation, Florida; and San Mateo, California. The most recent opening came July 13 in Conroe, Texas—a 7,000-square-foot venue that marked Benihana’s fifth Houston area location.
The news comes about two-and-a-half months after Darden—owner of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse—announced that it would acquire Ruth’s Chris Steak House for $715 million. In March, Garnett Station Partners revealed that it acquired the roughly 60-unit Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.
On the quick-service side, Subway is going through a sales process of its own. Some private-equity companies linked to the chain include Roark Capital Group—parent of Inspire and Focus Brands—along with Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, TDR Capital, TSG Consumer Partners, and TPG.
It’s also important to note that investor interest in restaurants has been elevated after better-than-expected IPOs. CAVA priced its IPO at $22 per share, above its projected range of $19–$20. The restaurant sold 14.4 million shares, meaning it raised roughly $318 million. It was trading at $48.72 per share as of Wednesday afternoon, valuing it at $5.43 billion. Additionally, Gen Korean BBQ sold 3.6 million shares at $12 per share, meaning it raised $43.2 million in its IPO. That surpassed its expectation of 3 million shares at a range of $10 to $12 per share. On Wednesday afternoon, it was trading at $18.35 per share.