Apax buys Chinese restaurant chain for $250m

The firm expects to expand Golden Jaguar, a family-owned buffet restaurant chain, to reflect China’s growing urban middle class.

Apax Partners has acquired Golden Jaguar, a restaurant chain geared toward China’s middle and upper class, for around $250 million, a source close to the firm said. It is unclear what fund or funds were used to purchase the restaurant chain.

Credit Suisse provided financial advisory services to Apax for the transaction.

Golden Jaguar, a family-owned buffet-style restaurant and wedding catering service, was founded in 2003 and has locations in eight Chinese cities. The restaurants target China’s growing urban middle class, which is expected to grow in the coming years, Apax said in a statement. The firm plans to expand the restaurant to other locations throughout China.

The global private equity firm has made a number of recent transactions in China, purchasing a 19 percent stake in SouFun, China’s largest online real estate advertising and listing company, for $163 million last year. In 2010, the firm received a €685 million commitment from the China Investment Corp, a sovereign wealth fund, to its €11.2bn for Apax Europe VII fund.

Earlier this month, Apax closed its second largest US deal, purchasing medical device company Kinetic Concepts for approximately $6.3 billion, including outstanding debt.