Investcorp invests in City Super Group, expanding in Asian high-end food retail industry

8 Sep 2020

Investcorp announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement alongside China Resources Capital Management Limited (“CR Capital Management” or “China Resources”) to acquire a majority ownership position in City Super (BVI) Limited (“City Super Group”). The existing shareholders, including Fenix Group and the Lane Crawford Joyce Group (“LCJG”), will continue to hold a 35% stake in City Super Group. The transaction is subject to People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) merger control approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

After the closing of the transaction, City Super Group’s current management team will continue to operate independently under the city’super and LOG-ON brands. The new partnership will enable the group to accelerate its expansion plans and to continue to seek to best capitalize on Greater China and Asia’s consumption growth and premiumization trends. All shareholders will collaborate together with City Super Group’s management team and its staff to implement City Super’s vision.

Hazem Ben-Gacem, Co-CEO of Investcorp commented: “We believe that the Asia food sector continues to offer attractive growth opportunities, especially for leading brands like City Super Group, which has cultivated a strong, loyal customer base by offering premium, products with a commitment to exceptional quality, service and innovation. As one of the most preeminent food retail and lifestyle brands in Asia, we believe that City Super Group is well-positioned for growth. We have a long history of investing in food brands and supermarket chains globally at Investcorp, and we look forward to working with our world-class partners to support City Super Group’s continued expansion.”

Carl Qin, CEO of CR Capital Management, commented: “We have long admired City Super Group’s passion to build a premium food and lifestyle retail brand. We highly value City Super Group’s unwavering focus on quality and its unparalleled product sourcing network. We are convinced that China Resources is the ideal partner for City Super Group to fully realize its potential given our leading position in China’s food retail market, our local knowledge and our strong and proven expertise in growing multinational brands in Greater China and Asia. We are confident that the current management team led by Thomas Woo will be able to continue to lead this company to greater success. We are delighted to partner with Investcorp, as well as with Fenix Group and LCJG through their ongoing shareholding, in the business.”

Thomas Woo, CEO of City Super Group, commented: “Today is one of the most important days in our proud 25-year history. We believe our new partners will bring significant resources and expertise, and we are committed to building upon City Super Group’s track record and strengths. We trust that our new partners will help consolidate our success and accelerate our growth in Greater China and the Asia markets, and help us adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace.”

Investcorp Group has established a joint venture with CR Capital, the private investment arm of China Resources Group, a Fortune Global 500 enterprise and owner of China’s largest supermarket chain enterprise group, China Resources Vanguard, and Fung Strategic Holdings Limited, a member of the private investment arm of the families of Victor Fung and William Fung.

Investcorp has established experience investing in companies operating in food sectors and currently stands as one of the few private equity firms to invest in this sector across the US, Europe and the broader Middle East and North Africa region, including Turkey. Some of Investcorp’s recent investments in the food sector include: Bindawood Holding, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading supermarket and hypermarket groups; Fortune Fish & Gourmet, a leading US specialty distributor of seafood and gourmet food products; Tiryaki Agro, the leading trader and supply chain manager of Agro commodities in Turkey; and Namet, the leading Turkish producer of fresh cut and packaged processed red meat products.

City Super Group was established in 1996, and today city’super is one of the most recognizable premium food retailing chains in Hong Kong and Shanghai, known for offering the highest quality and widest assortment of gourmet food products to its customers from around the world. City Super Group also operates the LOG-ON stores, which offer a unique collection of lifestyle products.