Investcorp acquires stake in Singapore’s instant cereal maker Viz Branz

The Bahrain-listed firm has invested over $1bn in Asia to date

Investcorp agreed to acquire a majority stake in Singapore based Viz Branz from its existing shareholder and chief executive Ben Chng. Courtesy Investcorp
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Alternative asset manager Investcorp said on Monday it agreed to acquire a majority stake in Singapore-based Viz Branz from its existing shareholder and chief executive Ben Chng.

The Bahrain-listed firm did not disclose the total investment in the deal, which was concluded in partnership with the Asia Food Growth Fund I.

“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,” Hazem Ben-Gacem, co-chief executive of Investcorp and chairman of the Asia Food Growth Fund Investment Committee, said.

Investcorp has been buying more businesses in Asia and has invested over $1 billion in the continent to date, with the majority of its deals in China.

“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.”

Established in 1988, Viz Branz is a family-owned manufacturer and distributor operating across China and South East Asia. It generated 170 million Singapore dollars ($126m) in sales in the year to June 30. Its brands include Gold Roast, Calsome, Royal Myanmar Tea and Cafe 21.

“Joining forces with Investcorp, China Resources and Fung Investments is an important milestone in our evolution and will unlock significant opportunities for our business,” Mr Chng said. “Through our new partnership, Viz Branz will have access to additional resources and expertise that we believe will accelerate our growth plans.”

The acquisition of Viz Branz represents Investcorp’s 16th investment in the food and beverage industry in over three decades across the US, Europe, Mena and Asia.

Investcorp launched a $500m (Dh1.8 billion) fund to invest in Asian food brands in November last year, alongside China Resources and Fung Strategic Holdings. An initial $275m funding round closed in April.

In September, Investcorp and CR Capital also acquired a majority stake in Hong Kong-based food retail business City Super Group.

The Bahrain-listed firm has been rapidly expanding its investments in consumer-focused industries in India and China as it looks to tap into the huge markets in these populous countries.

Earlier this week, Investcorp announced its investment in India’s e-commerce start-up FreshToHome, as part of a $121m funding round alongside other investors.