SBE, the New York-based hotel, restaurant and nightclub operator, confirmed on Thursday that it is in advanced discussions with London-based Hakkasan Group on a proposed merger.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But if the merger closes within the next 60 days, as expected, the deal would bring the glitzy Hakkasan and its related brands into the SBE portfolio, which includes the SLS, Morgan and The Redbury hotels, as well as the Katsuya, Cleo and Umami Burger restaurants.
The combined companies would have an equity value of about $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported the proposed merger earlier this week.
“As currently contemplated, SBE would welcome Hakkasan’s global portfolio of prestigious restaurants and best-in-class nightlife assets into SBE’s international platform of lifestyle hospitality and entertainment assets to create the most dynamic hospitality, residential, restaurant and entertainment company in the industry,” SBE founder Sam Nazarian said in a statement.
Last year, SBE launched a subsidiary dubbed Disruptive Restaurant Group to develop, manage and expand restaurant concepts in hotels, casinos and arenas.
Hakkasan Group officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The company operates 11 Hakkasan restaurants worldwide, along with a number of other restaurant brands, including Herringbone and Searsucker. Nightclubs within the group include Hakkasan Nightclub, Wet Republic, Omnia and Jewel. The group is owned by Alliance International Investments LLC, based in Abu Dhabi.
In 2015, SBE announced a deal to sell the Katsuya and Cleo restaurant brands to One Group Hospitality Inc. as part of a move toward a more asset-light operation. But a few months later, the two companies called the deal off.
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