Singapore F&B businesses attracting private equity investments

In Straits Times on Christmas Day, a trend was observed on the Singapore’s food businesses: they are attracting a increased interest from private equity investors. Singapore’s reputation as a food paradise also helped in developing a healthy appetite for food businesses with good potential to expand abroad.

According to research company Preqin, about 75% of private equity-backed buyout deals here this year were in the restaurant sector. The following deals are of specific interest.

  1. Standard Chartered Private Equity’s (SCPE) growth capital injection of S$73 m into Crystal Jade, made after the restaurant chain was taken over by the private equity arm of Paris-based luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton last year at US $100m.
  1. Heliconia Capital Management, owned by Temasek Holdings, took a $10 million stake in seafood restaurant chain Jumbo’s initial public offering in November. Jumbo, well-known for its chilli crab, fits in well with its investment strategy of middle class theme. Heliconia made its investments largely based on three major themes – the trend of a growing middle class in the region, urbanisation and innovation and technology.
  1. Singapore-based private equity firm Credence, paid $23 million to buy out the firm from its founder last November. Credence saw the value of a Singapore-based food business: to capitalise on the strength of the Singapore brand in order to scale Fassler’s business beyond Singapore.
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