Sushi group YO! to change name and is planning for potential IPO

Expected to be called the Snowfox Group.

Sky News reports that YO! is changing its name as it “weighs plans for a stock market listing to reflect the rapid growth of its US operations”.

The sushi conveyor belt chain has employed bankers at Numis to advise on its strategic options on the London Stock Exchange.

In 2019, Yo! acquired a majority stake in US rivals SnowFox to expand in the US, to form world’s largest sushi company outside Japan.

At the time, that deal was facilitated by Mayfair Equity Partners, with SnowFox added to a portfolio that also includes Bento Sushi and Taiko Foods.

The company is believed to have decided to change its corporate name to the Snowfox Group.

Financial site Morning Star reported that the group will retain the Yo! name for its restaurants and food-to-go operations.

Yo! has been busy pivoting from restaurants to retail in the UK, with sushi partnerships in Sainsbury’s, Co-op stores, David Lloyd Leisure Clubs, and a trial partnership with WHSmith. The group’s Taiko brand is also available in Waitrose. Within the retail division, the company also operates 37 kiosks in Asda under the Panku brand. It sells in the USA stores Kroger and Loblaws.

The publication reported that people close to the company said that “it was growing at double the rate of the wider market”.