Singapore’s instant cereal maker Viz Branz acquired by alternative asset manager Investcorp

SINGAPORE – Ownership of Singapore’s instant cereal maker Viz Branz is about change following a deal signed between existing shareholder and chief executive Ben Chng and Alternative asset manager Inverstcorp.

In a statement, alternative asset manager Investcorp said has it agreed to acquire a majority stake in Singapore-based Viz Branz for an undisclosed sum.

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The Bahrain-listed firm said that the deal was successfully 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.

Established in 1988, Viz Branz is a family-owned manufacturer and distributor operating across China and South East Asia.

It makes and distributes instant cereal and coffee products such as Gold Roast, Calsome, Royal Myanmar Tea, and Cefe 21 brands across China and Southeast Asian countries.

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The company generated 170 million Singapore dollars (US$126 million) in sales in the year to June 30 with China- its largest market- accounting for over 65% of its revenue.

“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.

The deal could not have happened at a better time than this, particularly due to recent projections future growth for the US$1 billion Chinese market.

According to Deal Street Asia, China’s cereals market is expected to continue growing around 7% per year to reach US$1.4 billion by 2024.

“Through our new partnership, Viz Branz will have access to additional resources and expertise that we believe will accelerate our growth plans,” Mr. Chng 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.

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

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

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.

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