Private equity giant KKR investing up to $500m in Ron Sim's V3

V3 founder, chairman and chief executive Ron Sim (at right) with TWG Tea chief Taha Bouqdib. V3 owns the TWG Tea brand as well as franchise rights to the GNC nutritional supplements brand in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.
V3 founder, chairman and chief executive Ron Sim (at right) with TWG Tea chief Taha Bouqdib. V3 owns the TWG Tea brand as well as franchise rights to the GNC nutritional supplements brand in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.ST FILE PHOTO

Investment in massage chair, lifestyle products group comes at enterprise value of about $1.7b

Private equity giant KKR is taking a "significant stake" in Osim founder Ron Sim's repackaged massage chair and lifestyle products group V3.

KKR will invest up to $500 million in V3, which also owns the TWG Tea brand, at an enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion. It declined to comment on the exact mix of equity and debt financing.

United States-based KKR is making the investment from its Asian Fund III.

Mr Sim, V3's founder, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement: "I am confident this investment will position the company for our next phase of growth, starting with the immediate expansion of TWG Tea in Japan and the US, and of Osim in China."

KKR partner Jaka Prasetya said the investment underlines KKR's firm belief in the continued growth of the region's consumer sector.

He noted: "We aim to provide support and capital to successful home-grown, regional companies like V3 in order to capture opportunities across Asia and beyond."

Mr Sim said in June that V3's annual revenue climbed back above the $600 million mark last year on organic growth across all segments. Net profit also rose, he added.

SUPPORT FOR GROWTH PLANS

We aim to provide support and capital to successful home-grown, regional companies like V3 in order to capture opportunities across Asia and beyond.

KKR PARTNER JAKA PRASETYA

He had applied in April last year for V3 to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange via an initial public offering (IPO), but that application lapsed in October.

Mr Sim said in June that he was not in a hurry to proceed with an IPO, adding that he was busy with many private options as well.

Before he repackaged his firm as the V3 Group and acquired Futuristic Store Fixtures, he valued Osim International at $1 billion.

He based this on the price offered to shareholders to delist Osim from the Singapore Exchange in 2016.

V3 is based here and has a presence in 26 countries.

The largest chunk of revenue comes from sales of Osim massage chairs. V3 also owns the TWG Tea brand as well as franchise rights to the GNC nutritional supplements brand in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2018, with the headline 'Private equity giant KKR investing up to $500m in Ron Sim's V3'. Print Edition | Subscribe