Minor Hotels, the Thailand-based hospitality group, has further strengthened its presence in the UK restaurant sector, after acquiring a stake in Japanese restaurant group Benihana.
The company, which earlier this year acquired Corbin & King in a £58m deal, has invested $12m for a 75 stake in Benihana. The Japan-inspired chain of grill restaurants has 19 locations across 12 countries, including Thailand, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, plus sites in Chelsea and Piccadilly.
Benihana was set up by Rocky Aoki in New York in 1964 and has been operating in London for over 30 years.
Minor currently operates a portfolio of 157 hotels and resorts in 24 countries.
“Minor has almost 30 years of proven success operating Benihana-franchised restaurants in Thailand,” said Keiko Ono Aoki, the founder’s widow and a Benihana board member, referring to the three locations that Minor currently runs in the country. “We are confident that the Minor Food team can replicate the same success in other markets worldwide,” she said.
Late last year, Minor set up a new listed company in Thailand, in which it owns a 74% stake, to acquire Corbin & King, with the rest owned by founders Jeremy King and Chris Corbin. King remains chief executive of the group.