3i takes minority stake in Little Sheep

3i, a global private equity house, has led a $25m investment in expanding a Mongolian restaurant chain known as Little Sheep.

3i, a UK-listed private equity firm, has led a $25 million (€20 million) investment for a minority stake in Little Sheep, a lamb hotpot restaurant chain that originated in Inner Mongolia.
The investment will be used to drive an increased rate of store roll-outs in China and international markets, according to a statement from 3i. Founded in 1999 in Baotous, Inner Mongolia, Little Sheep has more than 700 outlets across China, and offers Mongolian lamb hotpot cuisine and a value-for-money dining experience, the statement added.
Wang Dai Zong, vice-president of 3i Asia Pacific, said: “We like consumer-related business especially those with strong growth potential. Little Sheep is a strong household name in China with a good business model, and is backed by an outstanding management team.”
Prax Capital, a private equity firm that focuses on mid-sized industrial and service companies located in China, has co-invested alongside 3i.
The Little Sheep transaction was completed in June, and follows 3i’s investment in high-end Chinese department store operator PCD Stores late last year.