Home Business NewsBusinessBusiness Growth News OakNorth completes first pan-European deal with £22m loan to Sticks n Sushi to support its growth

OakNorth completes first pan-European deal with £22m loan to Sticks n Sushi to support its growth

by Thea Coates Finance Reporter
21st Feb 24 8:08 am

OakNorth, the digital bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has provided a £22m loan to Japanese premium restaurant group, Sticks n Sushi, to support its future growth.

Founded in Denmark in 1994 by brothers Jens and Kim Rahbek and Thor Andersen, the group has successfully scaled to 27 restaurants – 12 in Copenhagen, 12 across the UK, and three in Berlin making this OakNorth’s first pan-European transaction.

It opened its first restaurant in the UK in Wimbledon in 2012, and the UK is now the group’s largest market in terms of turnover, with its 13th UK restaurant due to open in Richmond in May.

The group’s CEO, Andreas Karlsson, joined in 2011 as its operations director, and was promoted to CEO in 2019. He has more than 36 years’ experience in the industry having led the global roll out of Wagamama.

The business has been acquired by leading private equity firm, McWin Capital Partners. McWin is a sector specialist with stakes in a number of chains, including: Gail’s Bakery, Popeyes, Big Mamma, Vapiano, and Burger King Germany to name a few.

Andreas Karlsson, CEO of Sticks n Sushi, said: “Our continued growth is really exciting – we’ve opened a restaurant every year since 2012 and we launched two last year in Shoreditch and Kingston, followed by Richmond this May – which will make it three in nine months.

“Over the years, we’ve built a loyal customer base who continue to choose us because of the quality of food we serve, and the quality of service we provide. We have identified great locations for several new restaurants in the coming years, and with the support of McWin and OakNorth, we will be able to take advantage of this.

“We’re incredibly grateful for both of their support and the commercial and collaborative nature in which they operate – it genuinely feels like a partnership and a relationship that will help make us an even stronger business for years to come.”

Stuart Blair, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth, added: “Given the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it is no surprise that many hospitality businesses have struggled over the last 18 months.

“However, Sticks n Sushi is a business that is more than bucking this trend – it has a strong brand presence, and a model focussed on high quality food production that has stood the test of time. Over three decades, it has grown to 27 individually designed restaurants, and it has never had to shut one down, demonstrating its sensible and smart location selection, as well as the clear demand for its offering.

“In Andreas, the business has a seasoned leader with more than three and a half decades of experience in the industry, and with the backing of McWin, it is primed for future growth.”

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