Wasabi to open 20 more sites after £25m funding deal

Japanese-style grab-and-go sushi and bento chain Wasabi is to open 20 new sites in the UK and New York after it secured a funding package worth £25m. The funding from HSBC is made up of a £20m, three-year revolving credit facility.

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In addition, HSBC has provided £4m of asset finance to develop Wasabi’s 65,000 sq ft warehouse which houses the a Central Processing Unit (CPU), aimed at improving service and food quality.

HSBC is also providing a £1m overdraft facility to support Wasabi in the ongoing development of its business.

Wasabi was founded by Korean Dong Hyun Kim, a former fresh food market trader, in London in 2003. It operates 41 outlets across London, seven outside London and two in New York.

Scott Etherington, Wasabi finance director said: “This is a very important moment in the development of our business. With a well-established presence in London, successful outlets in major regional cities and two branches in New York, this deal provides us with the backing to push on to the next stage of our expansion plans in the UK and internationally. HSBC’s sector knowledge and global footprint gives us the support we need to achieve our ambitions.”

James Sawley, HSBC Head of Retail and Leisure UK, added: “The growing popularity of sushi and the ‘food to go’ market across the UK has enabled Wasabi to grow quickly but organically, ensuring each new outlet is adapted for its local market. We worked closely with the business to ensure this deal was tailored to Wasabi’s growth strategy and provided the business with a solid platform for growth here and overseas.”

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