ClearVue Partners leads Akasakatei financing

ClearVue Partners has led a round of financing for Akasakatei, an all-inclusive BBQ and Japanese-cuisine restaurant. Akasakatei will use the financing round to accelerate the company’s growth in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Beijing.

PRESS RELEASE

Akasakatei (赤坂亭), China’s leading all-inclusive Teppanyaki, BBQ and Japanese-cuisine restaurant announced today that it has completed a round of financing, raising USD$ 10 million, led by ClearVue Partners, a private equity fund targeting fast growing and promising consumer companies in the Greater China region. With growing traction in Shanghai and Beijing, Akasakatei (赤坂亭) — known for its best-in-class beef — is the go-to teppanyaki, BBQ and Japanese-cuisine restaurant for China’s upwardly mobile consumers. Akasakatei (赤坂亭) will use the financing round to accelerate the company’s growth in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Beijing.

Akasakatei (赤坂亭) is a high-growth company in a quickly-growing sector; they expect to add 15 to 20 locations in 2014 — with the overall aim of opening a total of over 40 locations in China by the end of 2014. The restaurant’s competitive advantages include strong brand positioning, best-in-class beef and premium seafood, a loyal clientele and supportive landlords.
“We’re thrilled to close this financing round and to work with ClearVue Partners. We have been deeply impressed with ClearVue Partner’s experienced management team and their understanding of China’s restaurant sector,” said Mr. You Zhongwang, founder and CEO of Akasakatei (赤坂亭). “We believe that there is strong and increasing consumer demand in China for teppanyaki, BBQ and Japanese-cuisine in elegant yet conveniently-located environments,” he said.

According to a report in the SCMP: “China’s economy, boosted by a wave of growing middle-class wealth, is undergoing a significant shift in consumption, driven by a new generation of young, prosperous and independent consumers. The country’s huge population and strong economic growth will make it the world’s powerhouse of middle-class consumerism over the next two decades.” China’s restaurant industry, in particular, has experienced rapid growth. The industry has grown at 19 percent CAGR over the past decade, outpacing retail growth of 14 percent over the same period. It is estimated the restaurant industry will grow to RMB 4 trillion by 2015. According to research, Japanese-style food is one of the top five cuisines preferred by Chinese customers.

Akasakatei’s (赤坂亭) founder, Mr. You Zhongwang hails from Jianyang, Fujian Province – very close to the world famous Wuyi Mountains. Mr. You’s compelling life story, winning personality and the engaging story of how he started his businesses impresses both his employees and partners. Prior to founding Akasakatei’s (赤坂亭), he and his family worked in the beef trading business, where he gained extensive first-hand knowledge about best-in-class and beef supply operations. Mr. You’s dedication and commitment to high-quality beef can only be described as a passion. Mr. You said “we’re customer-oriented and product-oriented and our best-in-class beef is the key to Akasakatei’s (赤坂亭) success.”

“Nothing can replace the value of persistence,” said Mr. You. “Not talent, not even genius — persistence is the key to success,” he said. Akasakatei’s (赤坂亭) employees also live these values and practice this spirit of perseverance.

“Chinese consumers are demanding higher quality food and more innovative dining experiences — and they are buying into brands with a strong profile and identity. Akasakatei (赤坂亭) is the leading Japanese all-inclusive teppanyaki, BBQ and Japanese-cuisine brand in the full service dining segment,” said Harry Hui, Managing Partner of ClearVue Partners. “Mr. You is a seasoned professional, runs a very tight operation and is respected by his employees. His execution has been truly impressive,” he said.

About Akasakatei (赤坂亭),
Founded May 18, 2008 in Shanghai, Akasakatei (赤坂亭) is China’s leading all-inclusive teppanyaki, BBQ and Japanese-cuisine restaurant. In addition to Akasakatei (赤坂亭), the company also owns the distinct and soon-to-launch restaurant brand ShiYuan, a lighter, healthier approach to modern dining. With 25 elegant restaurants in Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo, Beijing and other major cities, Akasakatei’s (赤坂亭) success comes from its core commitment to providing customers with best-in-class beef, a wide variety of menu items and excellent service from its 800 dedicated “family of employees.”

About ClearVue Partners
ClearVue Partners is a private equity fund focused on investments in the fast growing and dynamic consumer sector in the Greater China region, primarily in the food and beverage, consumer lifestyle, and consumer internet/mobile sub-sectors. ClearVue Partners targets growth stage investments in fast growing and promising local companies, enables market entry for leading international consumer brands into China, and develops top-tier brands and businesses. The ClearVue Partners team has a unique combination of investment and senior operations experience from the US and Greater China, with an advisory group of recognized business pioneers in the consumer industry.

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