Vincent Tan said to weigh taking Starbucks Malaysia owner private

MALAYSIAN tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan is considering taking Kuala Lumpur-listed Berjaya Food Bhd. private, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Tan is in talks with banks about financing for a potential deal, said the people, asking not to be named as the matter is private. Shares of Berjaya Food, which owns 100% of Starbucks Corp.’s Malaysian operations, have dropped about 28% in the past year, giving it a market value of $229 million.

Berjaya Corp., a company founded by Tan in 1984 and involved in the real estate, hotels and consumer sectors, has a deemed interest of 55% in Berjaya Food, according to its latest available annual report.

Founded in 2009, Berjaya Food also runs brands including Kenny Rogers Roasters chain of restaurants in Malaysia as well Jollibean, a fresh soy milk operator. As of June 30, 2023, Starbucks Malaysia had 393 stores nationwide while Kenny Rogers Roasters had 80 stores.

Deliberations are preliminary and Tan could still decide against pursuing a go-private deal for Berjaya Food, the people said. Tan declined to comment, while representatives for Berjaya Food and Berjaya Corp. didn’t respond to requests seeking comment. - Bloomberg

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