Bain’s Skylark Restaurant Said to Weigh IPO for Next Year

Skylark Co., a Japanese restaurant operator controlled by Bain Capital LLC, is considering an initial public offering in Tokyo as early as next year, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Bain, which manages $67 billion in assets, is also considering a private sale of the company, according to one of the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The Boston-based firm acquired Skylark in 2011 for 160 billion yen ($1.7 billion) from a group of investors including Nomura Holdings Inc.

Skylark, which operates Gusto and Jonathan’s restaurants in Japan, in January appointed former McDonald’s Corp. President Ralph Alvarez as chairman to help expand its operations. The 50-year-old company, which delisted from the Tokyo bourse in 2006, had revenue of 342 billion yen in 2011 and employs about 5,400 people.

Officials at Bain in Tokyo couldn’t be reached to comment on the possible sale yesterday. Junichi Kawaminami, a Skylark spokesman, said the company is studying all possible options for growth.

Bain executives David Gross-Loh, Andrew Balson and Yuji Sugimoto are outside directors sitting on Skylark’s five-member board, according to the Tokyo-based company’s website.

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