The steak restaurant chain operated by Turkish restaurateur Nusret Gökçe – famed for his social media phenomenon Salt Bae – has been valued at $1.5 billion amid reports that a group of investors backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund are close to buying a slice of the business.
A consortium of investors including Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, Singapore-based investment firm Temasek and London-based Metric Capital, which has around $2bn of assets under management, is in advanced talks to purchase a minority stake in D.ream Group, a subsidiary of Turkey’s Doğuş Group, the UK’s Financial Times reported this week.
The deal with D.ream Group is valued at $1.5bn, according to the FT, which said an agreement could be reached by as soon as this weekend.
D.ream Group owns the high-end Nusr-Et steakhouse chain, which has a branch at Dubai’s Four Seasons Jumeirah hotel.
[ Get to know Nusret Gokce aka Salt Bae and see where you can spot him in the UAE ]
[ Poor reviews for Salt Bae’s New York restaurant leave a nasty taste ]
Nusr-Et became famous after the ‘Salt Bae’ video clip of Gökçe elaborately salting and cooking his steak went viral on social media at the beginning of 2017.
The Turkish chef set up the first branch of Nusr-Et in Istanbul in 2010. The chain has expanded further as Salt Bae has grown in popularity over the past year, with new openings in Miami and Manhattan alongside outlets in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, and a burger restaurant in Turkey.
The investment under consideration would reportedly include around $200m of equity funding and would also involve the restaurants Coya, Zuma and Roka, which also have outlets in the UAE.
The National has contacted the concerned parties for comment. A spokesman for Temasek said the firm "does not comment on market speculation and rumours".