Bahrain-based investment group Investcorp has bought a majority stake in Viz Branz, a Singapore food and beverage manufacturer, for an undisclosed sum.
The stake in the company, which manufactures and distributes cereals and snacks as well as coffee, was sold by Viz shareholder and CEO Ben Chng. The deal was done in partnership with the Asia Food Growth Fund I.
The size of the stake has not been revealed.
Established in 1988, Viz Branz sells its products in China and throughout south-east Asia. It has around 1,300 employees and manufacturing facilities and operations in China and Myanmar. It generated SGD170m (US$126.3m) in sales for the year ended 30 June. China is the company’s largest market, accounting for more than 65% of its revenues.
Investcorp said Viz’s Gold Roast brand has around 35% of the instant cereal market in southern China.
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Hazem Ben-Gacem, Co-CEO of Investcorp and chairman of the Asia Food Growth Fund investment committee, said: “This transaction represents an exciting opportunity in a market leading company and in what we believe is an attractive, resilient sector with substantial growth dynamics.
“We believe that Viz Branz is well positioned for expansion through increasing distribution in China and other parts of south-east Asia, delivering product innovation and investing in the company’s operational and multi-channel capabilities as well as through add-on acquisitions.
“We believe that the company’s market leading positions could be leveraged to create a sizeable branded, packaged F&B platform in China and south-east Asia”.
Investcorp has established a joint venture with CR Capital, the private investment arm of China Resources Group, a Fortune Global 500 company and a supermarket owner, and Fung Strategic Holdings, a member of the private investment arm of the families of Victor and William Fung.
Viz Branz’ previous owner Chng, who will maintain a “significant ownership stake” in the company, said: “Joining forces with Investcorp, China Resources and Fung Investments, is an important milestone in our evolution and will unlock significant opportunities for our business. Through our new partnership, Viz Branz will have access to additional resources and expertise that we believe will accelerate our growth plans and enable us to flourish for many years to come.”
The acquisition of Viz Branz represents Investcorp’s 16th investment in the food and beverage industry over three decades across the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and Asia.