The holding company to the bubble tea brand of Tealive, Loob Holding Sdn Bhd, is leaning towards a strategic stake sale, based on several sources close to the matter.
According to one source, “Nomura is advising Loob on the stake sale. There are a number of interested suitors for this deal including private equity funds”. One other source stated, “It is still in its early days. The information on the stake sale has been shared with the interested suitors”.
Loob Holding founder and chief executive officer Bryan Loo refused to reply when notified of this.
Loo clarified to The Edge, “The only thing I can say is that we are committed to continue growing our business during this challenging yet fruitful period while ensuring that the welfare of our staff is being protected at the same time”.
Based on Loob Holding’s numbers, the company has been achieving excellent growth. Garnering RM68.06 million in revenue for the financial year ending 30th June 2017 (FY2017), the company’s top line increased to RM86.15 million in FY2018 as well as RM180.4 million in FY2019.
During the same time span, Loob Holding’s net profit garnered RM2.36 million in FY2017, decreased to RM1.96 million in FY2018, then grew to RM29.88 million in FY2019, based on CTOS information. For Loob, FY2019 is its most current financial results that are openly available to the public.
The recent growth of a stake sale follows news last year that the company’s planned IPO exercise has been postponed because of market conditions in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year in the media, Loo was quoted as saying that Loob Holding will delay the IPO exercise, mentioning weak market sentiment.
Financial and media company Bloomberg first made a report in May 2019 that the company was considering an IPO to increase as much as RM300 million in the following year. It was also reported then that Loob Holding was contemplating searching for a valuation as much as RM1 billion.
Based on Loob Holding’s website, Tealive has more than 520 outlets around the world, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Brunei, China, even outside Asia in countries like Australia and the United Kingdom. The company also controls other retail food brands such as Gindaco, Ko Ko Kai, and Define Food.
Source: The Edge Markets