EQT Takes Majority Stake Of China F&B Group

Northern Europe private equity firm EQT Holdings AB says that it has acquired a majority stake of Hong Kong-based China F&B Group, the franchise operator of Dairy Queen and Papa John’s Pizza in China, according to a company announcement.

The specific amount and valuation of the transaction were not disclosed.

Other investors including SEB Private Equity and General Oriental Investments also participated in the deal.

China F&B Group’s board members and management also invested together with the new owners. The company’s founder, Li Ping, retains shares and will continue to act as chairman.

The new investors will continue to support China F&B Group’s growth and expansion of its store network in China.

"Both the out-of-home ice cream market and pizza restaurant industry in China have grown rapidly in recent years," says Yuka Yeung at EQT Industrial Advisor, who joined the board of China F&B. "This has been driven primarily by an accelerated urbanization, the development of lower tier cities and increase in disposable income."

Founded in 2003, China F&B is the largest franchisee of both Dairy Queen and Papa John’s Pizza outside the U.S. It has over 500 restaurants in China.

EQT invests in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the U.S. It is established in 1994 and has raised over €25 billion across 16 funds.

China Expert network