Private equity firm SkyLake will restart an auction process to sell its majority stake in Outback Steakhouse Korea after the chain reported record financial results for 2020 despite the economic downturn resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Seoul-based firm will send out teaser letters to potential buyers next week that provide a summary of the company, according to sources. Credit Suisse is running the sale process.
The chain was offered for sale last year but Bain Capital pulled out of negotiations. It is again on the market after posting record revenue of 300 billion won ($266.6 million) in 2020, up 30% from a year earlier. Operating income jumped 80% to 23.5 billion won. This represents significant growth from 2015, when SkyLake bought the firm. In that year revenue amounted to 194.2 billion won and operating income 2.6 billion won.
The results were largely driven by increased sales of premium dishes such as tomahawk steaks. Outback Steakhouse also benefited from a pandemic-induced increase in demand for delivery services, which it had already launched in 2019.
The sale will likely draw interest from several domestic and foreign investors. Industry watchers expect the company to continue to boost its revenues, with its premium meat dishes gaining in popularity and delivery services growing fast.
Outback Steakhouse is expected to fetch between 250 billion won and 300 billion won, a price tag that will be considered reasonable because its comparable companies were recently sold at a multiple of about 10 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
The firm generated 33.8 billion won of EBITDA last year. (Reporting by Si-eun Park)