Two mega hospitality and nightlife groups are in talks to merge: SBE Entertainment has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it is in “advanced talks to combine” with the Hakkasan Group, which WSJ sources say would create one gigantic company worth $1 billion. That’s a lot of bottle service and paid celebrity appearances.
Per SBE, the idea is to bring the Hakkasan properties into the SBE fold. Here’s a run-down of what we’re talking about here:
Best Known For: The eponymous flagship brand is Hakkasan, an upscale Chinese restaurant chainlet with a Michelin-starred location in London, a location in NYC (that had an $888 abalone dish on its debut menu), plus locations in SF, Miami, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and, of course, Las Vegas.
Other Factoids: Hakkasan also operates Top Chef alum Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker and Herringbone restaurants. In LA, Hakkasan is the force behind the restaurant Ivory on Sunset.
Why SBE Wants Them: Vegas, baby. Hakkasan has a huge footprint in Sin City, including its Hakkasan Club and 1 Oak, which might be familiar to you from its frequent role as backdrop/provider of “hosting” gigs for the stars of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Other Vegas Hakkasan Group clubs include Liquid Pool Lounge, Alibi Cocktail Lounge, Jewel Nightclub, plus restaurants like Yellowtail and Stack.
Best Known For: The owners of both SLS and Mondrian hotel chains, SBE also is a partner on the Bazaar by José Andrés restaurants and Umami Burger.
Other Factoids: This is also the company behind the curtain of the Katsuya restaurant chain, as well as the Redbury and Delano hotel chains, plus some residential properties. SBE put its name on an iconic LA building.
Why This Merger Matters: Vegas, baby. By absorbing the Hakkasan group, SBE becomes a major restaurant and nightclub player in Vegas. Per the WSJ, the merger would also allow SBE to put Hakkasan Group dining properties into upcoming hotel projects.