Bain to buy Domino's franchisee in Japan

by Eric Schroeder
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TOKYO — Bain Capital, a Boston-based private investment firm, has agreed to acquire Higa Industries Co., Ltd., the longtime master franchisee of 179 Domino’s Pizza stores in Japan. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bain previously has made investments in such restaurant chains as Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King Corp.

Bain acquired a majority stake in Domino’s in a private transaction in 1998, and since 2004 it has held a significant minority stake in the publicly-owned company.

“Under the franchise agreement with Higa Industries, Domino’s Pizza has built a strong competitive position in the pizza delivery industry in Japan by leveraging its distinctive product, high quality service and unique on-line marketing strategies,” said David Gross-Loh, a managing director at Bain Capital in Tokyo. “The strength of this position is evident when you consider that despite a tough environment for the restaurant industry, the company has achieved steady growth in both sales and profit in Japan over the last three years.”

Yuji Sugimoto, managing director at Bain Capital, said there are “significant opportunities for store growth, operational improvement, and attractive new product introductions, all of which can be aided by our knowledge of Domino’s Pizza and the resources of its global operations network.”

The transaction is expected to close in early February.

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