Singapore Spicy-Crab Restaurant Chain Jumbo Said to Plan IPO

Jumbo Group, the Singapore restaurant chain known for its chili and black pepper crabs, plans to sell shares in an initial public offering next year, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The company, controlled by the Ang family, plans to raise about S$30 million ($24 million), the person said, asking not to be identified as the process is private. Jumbo intends to use some of the proceeds to expand in China, according to the person.

Jumbo, led by Chief Executive Officer Ang Kiam Meng, was founded in 1987 and operates restaurants serving a range of cuisines from seafood to pork rib soup to ramen, according to its website. In July last year, it lost a chili crab cooking challenge to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. The company opened its first overseas restaurant in Shanghai in December.

“While we do not discount such plans, we cannot comment on market speculations,” Ann Chan, an external spokeswoman for Jumbo, said in an e-mailed response to questions about the IPO.

Restaurant operators listed in Singapore trade at an median of 20.7 times earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Soup Restaurant Group Ltd., known for its ginger chicken and herbal soups, has risen 186 percent since its 2007 first-time share sale in the city.

BreadTalk Group Ltd., which runs Din Tai Fung dumpling restaurants in Singapore and Thailand, has advanced 49 percent this year, outpacing the 4.1 percent gain in the benchmark Straits Times Index. Sakae Holdings Ltd., an operator of sushi and teppanyaki eateries, has risen 25 percent.