Toridoll to invest in London's Shoryu ramen
Japanese company hopes to slurp up overseas noodle market
TOKYO -- Toridoll Holdings, operator of Japan's udon restaurant chain Marugame Seimen, will invest as soon as this month in Shoryu, a London-based ramen business, aiming to use its expertise to claim a piece of the growing market for the noodle dish in Britain.
Through the investment, Toridoll plans to increase Shoryu's ramen shops in the U.K. from the current eight to around 100 by 2023. Toridoll will spend around 1 billion yen ($8.54 million) to acquire nearly 40% of shares of Shoryu Holdings, the restaurant's operator. Shoryu's lighter-tasting ramen adapted for British consumers -- priced around 2,000 yen ($17) -- took off after launching in 2012, and helped spark the ramen boom in the U.K.
While the ramen market is growing, competition is intensifying as ramen chains like Ippudo and Kanada-Ya also open shop in London. Shoryu decided it was time to boost its shop numbers and gain outside business expertise.
Toridoll had been slow to enter the European market, compared with its expansion in Asia. It jointly opened a high-end Japanese pub in London with Gekkeikan this November, and established an Italian subsidiary to launch Japanese restaurants and ramen shops in 2017.