StanChart PE Buys Singapore Baking Supply Shop Phoon Huat

  • Bank’s PE arm buys family-owned maker of ‘Red Man’ pie filling
  • Deal follows Metro purchase of distributor Classic Fine Foods

Standard Chartered Plc’s private-equity arm has invested in Phoon Huat & Co., the Singapore company that’s been selling baking ingredients such as pie fillings and confectioners’ sugar since 1947.

Standard Chartered Private Equity bought a “significant stake” in Phoon Huat, it said in an e-mailed statement Monday. The investment firm completed the purchase of a majority holding in Phoon Huat last week, valuing the business at S$150 million ($112 million) to S$200 million including debt, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. 

Phoon Huat, led by Managing Director Wong Chen Liong, provides baking ingredients under brands including “Red Man” to restaurants and hotels. It also runs about a dozen retail stores across Singapore selling supplies such as cookie sheets and cupcake liners and offers classes teaching amateur bakers how to decorate cakes and make the perfect bread loaf, according to its website.

Standard Chartered Private Equity plans to eventually increase its stake in the business to 100 percent, the person said. The deal excludes Phoon Huat’s real estate, according to the person.

Founding Family

Members of the Wong family that founded Phoon Huat will stay in management roles with the company, the person said. Including debt, the deal values Phoon Huat at more than 10 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to the person.

PwC was the exclusive financial adviser to Phoon Huat, the person said. 

A Singapore-based spokeswoman for Standard Chartered declined to comment beyond the statement. Phoon Huat didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment, and a person who answered the phone at the company’s office in Singapore declined to transfer calls. A representative for PwC declined to comment.

Gourmet Food

The deal will add to the $26.1 billion of consumer acquisitions in Southeast Asia companies during the last 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Metro AG, Germany’s largest retailer, said last August it will buy Singapore gourmet-products distributor Classic Fine Foods Group for as much as $328 million. Thailand’s Berli Jucker Pcl agreed in February to purchase Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA’s stake in grocery chain Big C Supercenter Pcl for 3.1 billion euros ($3.5 billion).

Standard Chartered Private Equity has announced at least $956 million of deals globally in the past year, the data show. The firm said last June it invested $52 million in Singapore-based restaurant chain Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts Holding Pte, known for its steamed dumplings and spicy noodles. 

In February, Standard Chartered Private Equity joined investors including Tiger Global Management and Naspers Ltd. in a 1 billion-dirham ($272 million) funding round for Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com. 

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