KKR buys stake in TWG Tea, Osim parent V3

Private equity company KKR is to invest as much as S$500 million (US$366 million) into V3, the parent of cafe chain TWG Tea and massage chair retailer Osim, to fund regional expansion.

In a deal which mixes equity and financing, KKR will take an unspecified “significant stake” in V3, which is effectively valued at S$1.7 billion. V3 is the company which resulted from last year’s restructuring of once-listed Osim International after plans for an IPO were shelved.

Keith Magnus, chairman of Evercore Asia, which advised V3 on the deal, told The Business Times  that the investment by KKR represents a more than 50 per cent increase in enterprise value compared to when the group was taken private.

“This is a phenomenal premium for [Ron] Sim,” said Magnus.

Sim remains the chairman, chief executive and controlling shareholder of V3. Sim, who remains chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder of the business added in a statement: “I am extremely pleased to welcome KKR as a significant shareholder in V3. I am confident this investment will position the company for our next phase of growth, starting with the immediate expansion of TWG Tea in Japan and the US and of Osim in China.

“We would also be looking into M&A opportunities that are earnings accretive.”

V3 also owns the rights to retail GNC nutritional supplements in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Sim says V3’s revenue cleared S$600 million last year and profit was also up.

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