Shanghai-based ClearVue Partners has invested $10 million in Chinese restaurant chain Akasakatei, according to a statement.
The company manages 25 restaurants specialising in Teppanyaki, BBQ and Japanese-cuisine in cities including Beijing, Ningbo and Shanghai. Akasakatei expects to add 15 to 20 locations in 2014.
China’s restaurant industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent during the past decade, according to the statement, outpacing retail sector growth of 14 percent.
“Chinese consumers are demanding higher quality food and more innovative dining experiences – and they are buying into brands with a strong profile and identity,” Harry Hui, managing partner of ClearVue, said in the statement.
Last month, ClearVue led a $20 million investment in China’s fruitday.com, a fresh fruit shopping site in China.
ClearVue closed its debut fund on $262 million in February exceeding its $200 million target.
The firm has already done more than 10 deals and writes equity cheques of $10 million to $25 million, which makes them post-venture stage investors, targeting companies with proven concept, revenue and a proven management team “but not quite at the pre-ipo stage”, Hui told Private Equity International in a previous interview.
“We’re growth capital investors and that’s why entrepreneurs are responding to us, because there’s less competition in this band of equity cheque.”
The firm is also set up to do buyouts and several team members have M&A experience with multinationals such as Pepsico and Nestle China.
ClearVue is focused on growth capital investments in the consumer sector in Greater China, with an emphasis on the food & beverage, consumer lifestyle, and internet/mobile sub sectors. The firm also has a strategic relationship with Greenwich, CT-based Catterton Partners, a 25-year old, private equity fund with more than $4 billion under management that focuses on buyouts of mid-market consumer businesses in North America.