Bain Capital may buy Japanese restaurant chain from Nomura for $3.3 bn

US private-equity firm Bain Capital is in advance talks to buy Japanese restaurant chain operator Skylark Co from Nomura Holdings for up to Y250 billion ($3.3 billion) including debt, Dow Jones Newswire today reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Nomura, Japan's largest brokerage house, teamed up with UK-based private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners and Skylark's management to acquire the then-listed company for about Y250 billion. Nomura currently owns about 78.6 per cent of the chain.

Tokyo-based Skylark, one of the nation's pioneering restaurant chains, was founded in 1970 and has about 3,680 outlets in Japan and overseas. The restaurants operated by the group include Gusto, Bamiyan, Totoyamichi, Shunsen Chubo Yume-an, Grazie Gardens, and Flo Prestige.

Gusto, with 957 outlets, offers western foods, Bamiyan has 570 outlets offering authentic Chinese foods, Totoyamichi restaurants are at 32 locations with a chain of rotating sushi bar restaurants, Yume-an restaurants has 280 outlets and offers authentic Japanese food, Grazie restaurants has 64 outlets offering Italian cusine and Flo Prestige restaurants are operated at 53 locations, offering authentic French delicatessens.

Skylark posted profit of Y7.9 billion on revenues of Y242.1 billion last year.

Boston, Massachusetts-based Bain Capital that has around $66 billion in assets under management, plans to fund more than half the cost of the acquisition through bank loans.

Bain Capital has sizable investments in Japan. It owns Domino's Pizza Japan, Bellsystem24, a Japanese telemarketer, Denon & Marantz, a provider of premium branded audio & visual, information, and communication equipment and MEI Group, a global leader in payment acceptance systems