Malaysian restaurant chain PappaRich said to mull Singapore IPO

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - PappaRich Malaysia, a food chain selling local cuisine from nasi lemak to curry laksa noodles, is considering a Singapore initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company, which opened its first restaurant in Malaysia in 2006, is targeting to achieve a valuation of at least S$200 million in the share sale, according to the people. It aims to conduct the offering as soon as this year, one of the people said.

Any deal would add to a rebound in the Singapore IPO market last year, when fundraising surged more than fourfold to US$1.7 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. PappaRich would follow other Southeast Asia-based restaurant chains including ABR Holdings, which operates Swensen's ice cream parlors, and Oldtown Bhd. in gaining a listing to fund expansion.

A representative for PappaRich, which is based near Kuala Lumpur, said a listing has always been a consideration as the company considers fundraising options to support its expansion plans. PappaRich "would certainly" expect to have a valuation in excess of S$200 million upon listing, based on comparable businesses, he said. 

Oldtown, which makes instant coffee and runs cafes, has risen 18 per cent in Kuala Lumpur trading over the past 12 months. Shares of Thai dessert chain After You, which raised US$21 million (S$30.1 billion) in a Bangkok IPO last month, have surged 167 per cent from their offer price.

More than 1 million customers dine at the PappaRich outlets monthly, according to its website. The company has about 100 outlets globally including locations in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., the website shows.