Japan's MUFG hires bankers to build out restaurant practice -memo

Credit: REUTERS/ISSEI KATO

Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc has hired three corporate finance bankers to build out its U.S. restaurant practice, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Monday, in a bid to win more restaurant franchisees as clients.

By Joshua Franklin

NEW YORK, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc 8306.T has hired three corporate finance bankers to build out its U.S. restaurant practice, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Monday, in a bid to win more restaurant franchisees as clients.

MUFG has recruited restaurant finance bankers Christopher Addison, Shawn Janko and Jake Nash as managing directors, according to the memo.

Addison and Janko were previously with Bank of America Corp BAC.N, while Nash was at Regions Bank. The trio will be based in Atlanta and report to the co-head of MUFG's food and beverage practice, Brian Geraghty.

"With their industry experience and history of client service in the restaurant-franchise business, Chris, Shawn and Jake provide a natural extension to our existing food, beverage and restaurant platform," Geraghty said in an emailed statement when contacted by Reuters.

"For MUFG, this expansion allows us to further penetrate a sector where we have industry expertise and see additional opportunities."

MUFG has traditionally focused on businesses in the restaurant supply chain. However, the latest hires have been made to attract restaurant franchisees, said a person familiar with the matter.

The plan is to offer franchises corporate and commercial banking products such as credit revolvers, rate hedging and term loans, the source said.

The number of U.S. table service and fast-food restaurant franchises was forecast to have increased around 12% from 2014 to 2018, according to a study by IHS Markit.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York Editing by Tom Brown)

((joshua.franklin@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646-223-6356; Reuters Messaging: joshua.franklin.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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