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$32bn alts manager invests in Singapore food manufacturer

Alternative investment manager Investcorp has agreed to buy majority stake in Viz Branz.

$32bn alts manager invests in Singapore food manufacturer

Alternative investment manager Investcorp has agreed to buy majority stake in Viz Branz, a Singapore food manufacturer in an undisclosed deal.

The agreement will see Viz Branz CEO Ben Chng ‘maintain a significant ownership stake in the company,’ according to a statement seen by Citywire Asia.

For Investcorp, the deal represents an ‘exciting opportunity in what we believe is an attractive, resilient sector with substantial growth dynamics,’ said co-CEO Hazem Ben-Gacem.

Viz Branz was founded in the 1980s and is best known for its instant beverage and cereal products under the Gold Roast and Cafe 21 brands. The group employs approximately 1,300 people with manufacturing facilities and operations in China and Myanmar.

The firm generated SGD 170m ($126m) in sales for the twelve months ended 30 June. China is its largest market, accounting for over 65% of the revenues.

‘We believe that Viz Branz is well positioned for expansion through increasing distribution in China and other parts of Southeast Asia, delivering product innovation and investing in the company’s operational and multi-channel capabilities as well as through add-on acquisitions,’ Ben-Gacem said. 

To date, Bahrain-headquartered Investcorp, which manages $32.2bn in assets, has invested over $1bn in Asia, with bulk of it mostly in China.

It has a joint venture partnering - China Resource, China Resources Vanguard, and Fung Strategic Holdings – targeting investments specifically in Asia’s food sector.

Earlier this month, the firm invested in Kindstar, a medical testing group based in Wuhan, where the coronavirus cases were first reported.

Kindstar specialises in advanced testing services across hematology, gynecology and pediatrics, infectious diseases, oncology and neurology.

Investcorp’s investment in the company came after it acquired minority equity stakes in Lu Daopei Medical Group, a hematology hospitals group in China, and WeDoctor, an online healthcare service provider that is backed by Tencent. 

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