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Crystal Jade chief on 'marrying off' company

He cried when telling staff about the sale to LVMH's private equity arm

Published on May 3, 2014 12:32 PM
Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts chief executive Ip Yiu Tung with L Capital Asia managing director Christina Teo. The 65-year-old Mr Ip, who has one daughter, says it is very difficult to find a successor. L Capital Asia will be acquiring over 90 per cent of the restaurant group. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts' head honcho Ip Yiu Tung treats the well-known Chinese restaurant group he built like one of his children.

And just talking about its impending sale next week to L Capital Asia, French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton's private equity arm, makes him emotional.

"I am handing over the company to another father," he said with a quiver in his voice when asked about the sale, in an exclusive interview with The Straits Times at Crystal Jade Golden Palace at Paragon Shopping Centre yesterday.

L Capital Asia will be acquiring over 90 per cent of the restaurant group, which has an annual revenue of close of $250 million. The deal took about three years to materialise.

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Background story

Fresh from snapping up the Crystal Jade restaurant chain earlier this week, French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton's Asian private equity arm is raring to move on to its next dish.

Its next target is likely to be a Chinese online fashion company, then possibly a beauty and wellness brand, L Capital Asia managing director Christina Teo revealed.

Although she kept mum on details of the possible deals, she told The Straits Times yesterday that L Capital prefers to back brands "that can travel well internationally".

Private equity firms typically raise capital from investors to buy into companies, with the aim of improving the business and its value. They generally sell their stakes several years later and return the money to the investors.