Significant growth planned as company seeks to expand its offering of healthy, affordable and sustainably sourced sushi
May 24, 2022 – Brentwood Associates (“Brentwood”), a leading growth-oriented private equity firm, has acquired a majority interest in Hissho Sushi (“Hissho” or the “Company”). Founded in 1998, Hissho is the second-largest franchisor of turnkey sushi solutions and is leading the charge on delivering fresh, premium sushi that customers crave. Brentwood acquired its majority interest in Hissho from investor Jeff Vinik, Ingleside Investors, Hissho’s founder (Philip Maung), Beem Holdings and management. The prior ownership group and the management team will remain significant shareholders going forward. Continental Grain Company, a global investor, owner and operator of companies across the food and agribusiness spectrum, participated in the transaction alongside Brentwood.
By partnering nationwide with grocery stores, college campuses, airports, hospitals, corporate offices and government facilities, Hissho offers an innovative menu of classic sushi rolls and chef-created specialties served at a compelling value and in a convenient on-the-go format. Hissho’s premium sushi is handcrafted daily by local, experienced chefs using high-quality ingredients that are 100% responsibly sourced. With more than 2,000 points of distribution across the country, Hissho is committed to making sushi more accessible and approachable to shoppers of all backgrounds, ages and diet preferences.
Following the transaction, Dan Beem, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead the Company alongside President & Chief Financial Officer Mathew Wilken and the remainder of Hissho’s best-in-class management team. Commenting on the new partnership, Mr. Beem stated, “We are excited to welcome Brentwood to the next chapter in the Hissho Sushi story. Combining Hissho’s category leadership and growth-centric mindset with Brentwood’s deep knowledge in foodservice and franchising will create even greater growth opportunities for Hissho, our franchisees and our retail partners.”
Jeff Vinik added, “Hissho is in terrific hands with Brentwood, and the prospects for the Company are better than ever. I am thrilled to remain an investor.”
“Hissho is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing consumer trend towards convenient and healthy prepared food options. We are thrilled to partner with Hissho and its outstanding management team on their current strategy of bringing innovative and sustainably sourced sushi everywhere consumers work, live and play,” said Jon Ang, Managing Director at Brentwood.
Rahul Aggarwal, partner at Brentwood, commented, “For more than 20 years, Hissho Sushi has been disrupting the dining industry and elevating the sushi experience nationwide. It is a perfect fit with our strategy of investing in high-growth, world-class consumer businesses. We look forward to leveraging our knowledge and resources to build on the already outstanding foundation for growth that exists at Hissho today.”
Hissho marks the 12th investment Brentwood has made across restaurants, foodservice and franchising. Other franchised concepts Brentwood has partnered with include Chicken Salad Chick, Blaze Pizza, and Watermill Express.
Portfolio Advisors, LLC and Pine Mountain Ventures, LLC also co-invested with Brentwood in the transaction.
William Blair & Company, L.L.C. served as the exclusive financial advisor to Hissho, while Hill Ward Henderson provided legal counsel. Brentwood was represented by Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Owl Rock, a division of Blue Owl, served as Administrative Agent and Joint Lead Arranger and Audax Private Debt LLC and Varagon Capital Partners, L.P. served as Joint Lead Arrangers for the debt financing.
ABOUT HISSHO SUSHI
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Hissho Sushi is one of the largest sushi distributors in the country and has regularly been recognized for: its year-over-year growth by Charlotte Business Journal’s Fast 50, by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America, Grant Thornton’s NC 100 and Smart CEO’s Future 40, among others. Founded in 1998, Hissho has grown to more than 2,000 franchised locations across the United States in grocery stores, college campuses, airports, hospitals, corporate offices and government facilities. Through its business, Hissho Sushi aspires to enrich lives, and to inspire all to be great and do good. For more information, visit https://hisshosushi.com/ or follow Hissho Sushi on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
ABOUT BRENTWOOD ASSOCIATES
Brentwood Associates is a Los Angeles-based private equity investment firm with a 30+ year history of investing in middle-market growth-oriented consumer and business services companies. Since 1984, Brentwood’s dedicated private equity team has invested in over 50 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $6 billion. With significant experience in both investing and brand building, Brentwood is a value-added partner for entrepreneurs and senior management teams building world-class companies. For more information about Brentwood, please visit www.brentwood.com.
ABOUT CONTINENTAL GRAIN COMPANY
Continental Grain Company (“Conti”) is a privately owned global investor, owner and operator of companies with more than 200 years of history across the food and agribusiness spectrum. It seeks to create long–term value by applying deep industry knowledge, capital and talent to businesses ranging from established market leaders to promising innovators.
Conti builds platforms that leverage its strategic expertise in food production, processing, and distribution to source proprietary deals, working alongside trusted partners and supporting strong management teams. It brings a long–term ownership mindset, concentrating on investment and operating plans that seek to create enduring value and a sustainable, efficient and nutritional food supply chain. Conti brings people, ideas and resources together to build the businesses that will feed the world.
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