PETALING JAYA: Village Grocer Holdings Sdn Bhd (VGH), majority-owned by private equity (PE) firm Navis Capital Partners, has acquired the entire stake in grocery chain Ben’s Independent Grocer Sdn Bhd (B.I.G) from The Big Group Sdn Bhd.
VGH said in a statement that the acquisition would further strengthen its position as one of the leaders in the premium grocery segment, having increased its total outlets to 13 with a combined annual revenue of approximately RM560mil.
There are three B.I.G outlets located in Kuala Lumpur - Publika Shopping Gallery, Plaza Batai and Glo Damansara. The value of the transaction was not disclosed in the statement.
VGH plans to retain the B.I.G brand following the acquisition, which will continue to be run by its present management team.
“The Village Grocer and B.I.G brands will continue to exist as two separate brands,” it said.
VGH group executive chairman Ong Kim Too said “the acquisition of B.I.G is a strategic business decision that fits in very well with the company’s long-term growth and expansion plans within the premium grocery market”.
“With this acquisition, we have an opportunity to extract procurement and operational synergies to better serve a growing market segment,” he said.
He added that VGH plans to open a few more outlets in the Klang Valley and other locations over the next 18 months under the Village Grocer and B.I.G brands.
Village Grocer was founded in 2004 with the first outlet in the Bangsar Village mall.
Navis Capital bought a majority stake in Village Grocer in September 2014 from Ong and his family.
Subsequent to that, in December 2014, Navis Capital bought a stake in the Big Group.
PE firms have been displaying a strong interest in consumer-related businesses.
Aside from Navis Capital, a PE fund managed by CIMB Private Equity and Mitsubishi Corp have stakes in local supermarket chain Jaya Grocer.
It was said that Navis Capital was a bidder for a stake in Jaya Grocer.
The Big Group said the divestment of the retail grocery business would enable it to focus on and grow its food and beverage business, which has a stable of brands under its umbrella, including Plan B and Ben’s restaurant chain.
Did you find this article insightful?