PE fund Creador takes up 30% stake in Loob Holdings

Loob Holding founder and CEO Bryan Loo welcomed Creador as a strategic investor and partner, said the timing could not be better with Tealive’s plan to hit the 1, 000th store milestone in Malaysia in the next three years.

KUALA LUMPUR: Private equity fund Creador is taking a 30% stake in Loob Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is the owner of top regional lifestyle tea brand Tealive, for an undisclosed amount due to its impressive revenue and net income.

In a joint statement yesterday, both companies said they were confident the strategic partnership would take Loob to the next level, especially given Creador’s track record in aiding its investee companies with regional growth.

Creador founder and CEO Brahmal Vasudevan said the firm chose Loob to be its first investment in the fast-growing food and beverage sector as Tealive has grown to be the regional leader with over 650 stores in less than five years.

Brahmal cited Loob’s impressive revenue of RM307mil and net income of RM58mil for financial year 2020.

“This translated to a phenomenal three-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56% in revenue and 180% in net income, ” he said.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Brahmal pointed out that Tealive’s multi-format outlets, which include shoplots as well as outlets in malls and petrol kiosks, and its omnichannel offerings via food delivery platforms have helped it maintain a stellar performance.

This investment which is executed through Uttama Ltd, an affiliate of Creador IV LP, would enable Creador to take part in the growth story of Tealive which is already present in eight countries.

Creador founder and CEO Brahmal VasudevanCreador founder and CEO Brahmal Vasudevan

Creador is focused on long-term investments in growth-oriented businesses in South-East Asia and India. Loob is Creador’s 39th investment since inception in 2011. Nomura acted as the financial adviser on this transaction.

Tealive serves over five million consumers per month in Malaysia with presence in Australia, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines, the UK, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Brahmal said the made-to-order tea market in Malaysia has been growing over 20% in the last few years and beverage chain per million population remains underpenetrated when compared with peers in the region and developed countries.

“Loob’s management team’s exceptional marketing and execution capabilities have enabled them to add tremendous value and capitalise on fast-changing consumer trends in the food & beverage industry to establish a strong brand in the region.

“We see tremendous opportunity for further growth not only in Malaysia but also in the neighbouring Asean markets, ” he said.

Loob Holding founder and CEO Bryan Loo welcomed Creador as a strategic investor and partner.

Loo said the timing could not be better with Tealive’s plan to hit the 1, 000th store milestone in Malaysia in the next three years.

“We have just celebrated our 600th store in Malaysia last month and we plan to open 100-150 stores each year moving forward. We are always thankful for the strong brand loyalty and support shown by Malaysians and tea lovers in every market we go into.

“We will continue to focus on our digital strategy and prioritise customer convenience including various cashless and contactless ordering channels – scan to order, order ahead and drive-in model across the store network, ” he said.

In addition to the Tealive brand, Loob Holding’s stable includes ready-to-eat food products under Tealive Eats, and affordable coffee chain Bask Bear Coffee.

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