Abraaj exits Philippine's Pancake House

The firm has sold its shares in Philippines-based Pancake House to corporate buyer Max’s Group.

The Abraaj Group has sold its stake in Philippine restaurant chain Pancake House (PHI) to Max’s Restaurant Group, a Philippines-based corporation, according to a statement from the buyer.

Max’s Group acquired 193.18 million private shares at 15.00 PHP per share or about $65 million (2.9 billion PHP) from the former principal shareholders, Abraaj and Pancake House Holdings, who together held 76.71 percent the company.

Abraaj’s initial investment in PHI was in 2005. Since then, the casual dining chain has grown from an 89-store Philippines-centric chain to approximately 300 stores at the end of 2013, having expanded its presence to other Southeast Asian countries and the Middle East, according to a separate statement from Abraaj.

“The investment was premised on the opportunity to participate in a fast-growing sector driven by greater consumer demand as a result of increasing urbanisation, a developing middle class population, and a rising trend of dining out,” said Danny Lizares, managing director of Abraaj, in the statement.

Martin Lorenzo, PHP’s chairman and chief executive officer, acknowledged the firm’s help in store expansion and said it also improved governance structures and ESG credentials.

Last September, Abraaj exited its investment in Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center (DMMC), a tertiary hospital based in the Philippines, Private Equity International reported earlier.

The Abraaj Group, is a Dubai-based private equity firm specialising in investing in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Turkey and Central Asia. The group manages $ 7.5 billion across 20 funds, encompassing private equity and real estate investments. In July 2012, Abraaj acquired emerging markets specialist Aureos Capital.