Sortis Holdings acquires Sustainable Restaurant Group, owner of Bamboo Sushi
Jul 29, 2020
July 29, 2020
Sortis Holdings in conjunction with its Sortis Rescue Fund, has acquired SRG, owner of Bamboo Sushi with an aim to ultimately implement its growth strategy interrupted by the pandemic. (Photo: Business Wire)
PORTLAND: Sortis Holdings Inc., a Portland-based investment firm, has acquired Sustainable Restaurant Group (SRG), owner of Bamboo Sushi, out of bankruptcy, a news release said. Sortis, in conjunction with its Sortis Rescue Fund announced in May, acquired SRG and will assume full operational control. A hearing held earlier this month in Delaware approved the plan that brings Bamboo Sushi, the world’s first sustainable sushi restaurant, to the firm. Bain Capital Double Impact and Kitchen Fund previously led a strategic investment in SRG in 2018 and have reinvested in the company. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed. Bamboo Sushi is designed to wow consumers with an experience that fulfills a deep commitment to environmental and social change through its food. It is wildly successful and has expanded rapidly since 2018. Sortis will operate nine locations across Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area, and Denver. It anticipates future growth. “We are thrilled to bring our team’s experience, ideas, and energy to the Bamboo Sushi brand,” said Paul Brenneke, founder and executive chairman at Sortis Holdings. “SRG was built on a thoughtful approach to dining, food sourcing, and growth. It had poor timing for its rapid growth opening four restaurants in the months prior to the pandemic’s once in a lifetime impact, but it’s the kind of company that we believe will survive and thrive in a post-pandemic world.”
Once SRG is fully operational again, the Company intends to reopen its restaurants in accordance with all state and municipal guidelines. Sortis is fully committed to rehiring furloughed workers, resuming operations at the restaurants, and eventually implementing the growth strategy interrupted by the pandemic. In the interim, SRG continues to offer pickup and delivery at its Northwest, Northeast, and Lake Oswego Bamboo Sushi locations in the Portland area. Sortis will retain members of SRG’s existing management team, and will add members from its own hospitality team. Sortis has its investment roots in real estate, and expanded its consumer team in 2019 with a goal of identifying culturally relevant companies in lifestyle, food and beverage, hospitality, health and wellness, and more. When the economic effects of COVID-19 tore through the economy, Sortis put that institutional knowledge to use by establishing the Rescue Fund that will lead the SRG acquisition. In Bamboo Sushi, the team saw a beloved, relatable company with a loyal following that needed to buy runway during the pandemic. It also sees the brand’s ability to impact certain types of mixed-use real estate developments as the market evolves. The Sortis team will continue to identify companies with upside for both consumers and the future of real estate when a new, post-pandemic normal is established. It previously used its Rescue Fund to acquire Rudy’s Barbershops out of bankruptcy in May. Sortis Rescue Fund LLC is a Delaware limited liability company established by Sortis Fund Manager, LLC to capitalize on the dislocation and market stress in both the real estate and business markets caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic and subsequent economic fallout. The asset class-agnostic fund focuses on distressed debt, real estate, and operating businesses primarily across the Western United States.