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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.