Shanghai-based Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group has invested RMB210.5 million ($35 million) in Malaysian lifestyle cafe chain, Secret Recipe, according to a company announcement.
It’s not clear how big a stake Fosun will acquire in the deal, but Fosun is to become Secret Recipe’s second largest shareholder after the deal.
Founded in 1997, Kuala Lumpur-based Secret Recipe operates over 300 locations in Malyasia, China, Singapore, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries.
It entered the Chinese market in 2007, and has over 50 chains in the country. Secret Recipe plans to boost the number of its restaurants in China to over 100 by the year of 2015. By then, China will contribute about 50% of Secret Recipe’s global sales.
China’s food and beverage sector reached RMB2,344 billion ($390 billion) in retail sales in 2012, up from RMB604 billion ($100 billion) in 2004. Its compound annual growth rate was 18.5%, according to the company release.
The segment of lifestyle cafes will grow at a higher rate of 27.9% between 2012 to 2016, the company forecasts.
Fosun has been very active investing in overseas markets during the past year. Last month, its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Fosun International, says it will acquire an 80% stake in Portugal’s largest insurance company for €1 billion.
Last October, Fosun International agreed to purchase an office building in Manhattan, New York for US$725 million.
Last May, Fosun International says it’s raising a US$1 billion private equity fund to invest in overseas markets. In January, Fosun Group teamed up with Prudential Financial, Inc. to launch a joint fund to invest in property projects in China.