Jamie Barber, the operator of the Hush brand, has sold Sake No Hana, the Japanese fine dining restaurant in London, which he owned with Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev, to Hakkasan Limited, the group led by Niall Howard, for an undisclosed sum, M&C Report has learnt.
The deal is the third sale by Barber in as many months and follows the sale of his Villandry business to Philippe Le Roux, and the two-strong chain Kitchen Italia to the Kout Food Group. The total value of the three deals is thought to be in excess of £12m.
In what is believed to be a first, Barber posted a photo of him signing the legal papers for the deal on his Twitter page.
The sale of the three business will allow Barber to concentrate on the expansion of the Hush restaurant and bar brand. He is currently looking at sites of around 3,500sq ft in the capital to open smaller versions of the original Hush, which he opened in Mayfair over 10 years ago.
It is thought that Barber is also working on a couple of other projects in the eating and drinking out sector.
Wagamama founder Alan Yau, the restaurant entrepreneur, opened Sake No Hana in St James’s at the end of 2007 but ended his involvement in the concept last year.
Yau launched the original Hakkasan in 2001 in London’s Hanway Place. It was sold with its sister restaurant, the Soho-based Yauatcha, to Tasameem, a property arm of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, for $60m (£35.4m) at the end of 2007. Yau stepped down as chief executive of Hakkasan in August 2009.
Hakkasan opened its second fine dining restaurant in London, in Mayfair last November. It operates further eponymous restaurants in Abu Dhabi, Miami and Mumbai.
Tasameem has reportedly made up to £100m available to fund the roll out of Hakkasan internationally and Yauatcha nationally.
Howard spoke earlier this year about operating a third brand and it is thought that Sake No Hana could be rolled out internationally along similar lines to Hakkasan.