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LVMH: Luxury retail group's shopping spree in Singapore and what they bought

Published on Apr 30, 2014 9:26 PM

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's top luxury retailer, has been on an acquisition spree across Asia since 2009, armed with a private equity arm L Capital Asia. The latter started with a war chest of US$650 million and this year, it was bumped up to US$1 billion.

These are the Singapore businesses it has snapped up in the past five years.

1. Crystal Jade Group

Crystal Jade Chief Mr Ip Yiu Tung. -- ST PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO

The F&B group, a familiar brand in Singapore, seems an unlikely target for the luxury retail group more often associated with high fashion and premium wines and alcohol. But it was announced this week that LVMH had inked a deal to buy, for an undisclosed sum but which industry sources estimated to be worth about US$100 million, "over 90 per cent" of Crystal Jade.

Crystal Jade has been on a regional and international expansion spree, and plans to open 18 outlets this year, as well as a 20,000-sq ft restaurant in San Francisco which can seat more than 400. Given LVMH's track record with other Singapore businesses it has acquired, it is likely to boost the company's expansion plans.

2. Ku De Ta

A waiter sets a table at the outdoor area of Ku De Ta. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

LVMH bought a 51 per cent stake in the nightclub's holding company in January, with plans to take the brand global in the coming years. Industry estimates pegged the deal as worth more than $100 million.

L Capital Asia’s managing partner Ravi Thakra told The Straits Times that it is opening a Ku De Ta outlet in Hong Kong's party district Lan Kwai Fong in the second half of this year and has already secured sites in Thailand and France. There are aggressive expansion plans in the works as he plans to grow the company from its current $50 million revenue to $200 million in four years.

3. Charles & Keith

Shoppers seen inside a Charles & Keith store along CityLink Mall on May 1, 2012. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

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