CJ Logistics buys majority stake in Vietnamese Gemadept shipping and logistics units

Germadept., CJ Logistics
CJ Logistics buys majority stake in Vietnamese Gemadept shipping and logistics units

CJ Logistics, Germadept

Formerly known as CJ Korea Express, CJ Logistics said it has acquired a majority stake in two shipping and logistics subsidiaries under Vietnamese logistics company Gemadept Corp.

In a regulatory filing to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, CJ Logistics has completed the purchase of a 50.9 percent stake each in Gemadept Logistics Holding and Gemadept Shipping Holding, with both deals estimated to be worth 98.7 billion won (about US$85 million) .

CJ Logistics is the unit of Seoul-based food and entertainment conglomerate CJ Group. A special purpose company composed of undisclosed financial investors will be set up by CJ to invest 70 percent in the latest acquisition.

The deals were made following the disclosure of CJ Logistics CEO Park Geun-tae earlier this year that the company was interested in acquiring logistics firm in Southeast Asia to become one of the top five global firms.

In recent years, CJ Group has acquired several Chinese and Southeast Asian logistics companies including Malaysia’s Century Logistics and China Shenzhen Speedex Commercial Service and Rokin Logistics, UAE’S Ibrakom, and India’s Darcl Logistics.

Founded in 1990 as a state-owned company, Gemadept is said to be the largest Vietnamese logistics firm and was among the earliest company to be privatized. It owns several subsidiaries in port operation, logistics, rubber plantations, and real estate.

In 2016, Gemadept posted US$162 million in revenue, with a 4 percent increment year-on-year while its pretax profit was down 5 percent to US$20 million. After restructuring and divestments, the company is currently looking for US$165 million in revenue and US$23.3 million in pre-tax profit.

L Catterton to divest majority stake from Singaporean restaurant chain Crystal Jade

L Catterton, Crystal Jade

L Catterton, Crystal Jade

LVMH-backed private equity firm L Catterton said it is offloading a majority stake in the popular Asian restaurant chain Crystal Jade Group, according to sources aware of the development.

The investment in Crystal Jade was made in May 2014 by L Capital Asia through its second private equity fund for an estimated US$100 million. This was two years before the merger of L Capital Asia and Catterton to form L Catterton.

At that moment, the deal with Crystal Jade came as the third investment by L Capital Asia in the food and beverage sector, after investments in Jones The Grocer and Kudeta from its first private equity fund.

Founded in 1991, Crystal Jade is one of Asia’s premier diversified food and beverage groups. It operates over 120 outlets ranging from fine dining and casual dining restaurants to specialty bakeries across 27 major cities in the Asia Pacific.

The food chain are mainly in Singapore, Hong Kong, and China. At the same time, it maintains a presence of having joint ventures and franchise arrangements in Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.

Crystal Jade has become a household name in Chinese cuisine and is renowned for delicious food and excellent customer service, having been awarded 1 Michelin Star in the Singapore Michelin Guide 2016 and 2017.

On the other hand, backed by luxury goods giant LVMH, L Catterton has made over 150 investments in consumer brands across different segments of the industry.

The investment firm is ranked among over the most experienced consumer focused private equity groups in the world, and manages US$14 billion dedicated to investing in middle market companies.

In related news, L Catterton is recently intensifying its investment in the Latin America region, having bought shares in Colombian health and fitness firm Bodytech, Brazilian food retailer Grupo St. Marche, and Argentinian lingerie brand Caro Cuore.