Ippudo restaurant owner applies for listing

Ramen restaurant chain Ippudo’s owner is expected to list shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as early as March.

The total market value of the initial offering is projected to be around 30 billion yen (US$259 million).

Chikaranomoto Holdings has about 60 Ippudo restaurants as well as other brands outside of Japan. It filed an initial listing application in December, which means approval could come next month. The listing is expected to let the group accelerate expansion in domestic and overseas markets.

Company founder and chairman Shigemi Kawahara opened his first ramen shop in 1985 in Fukuoka Prefecture in southwestern Japan. The company posted group sales of 20.8 billion yen for the year through to March 2016, up 17 per cent from the previous year.

Ippudo began expanding into foreign markets in 2008, establishing itself first in New York. The chain now has shops in China, France and other countries, and will open its first outlet in Myanmar soon.

Inspired by New York’s cocktail bars, Chikaranomoto Holdings opened standing-style ramen shops in Tokyo and nearby areas last year, and it plans to open more in Kyushu soon.

Ippudo also has five branches in the Philippines.

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