Longreach Group gobbles up Wendy’s Japan

The investment will be used to expand the fast food chain’s footprint in Japan.

North Asia focused private equity firm The Longreach Group has acquired a majority stake in fast food chain Wendy’s Japan for an undisclosed amount, the firm said in a statement.

With the acquisition, Wendy’s will combine with Japanese fast food chain First Kitchen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suntory Holdings, and will be renamed as Wendy’s First Kitchen.

The deal was structured through Longreach Capital Partners II, a $400 million 2011-vintage vehicle that has received commitments from the Pension Fund Association of Japan, Korea Investment Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Michigan, according to PEI Research & Analytics. The fund is almost fully invested, according to a spokesperson from the firm.

The fund follows the strategy of its $750 million predecessor fund, Longreach Capital Partners, which closed in 2006. It focuses on technology, industrial, financial services, and business services and consumer-related investments in Japan and North Asia. Typical deal sizes range from $20 million to over $200 million through fund investments and co-investments.

The Hong Kong-headquartered firm has invested in mobile content provider Cybird Holdings, Taiwanese commercial bank EnTie, aluminium producer Asia Aluminum Group and fast food giant McDonald’s Japan.

In 2012, Longreach sold its investment in SANYO Electric Logistics to warehousing and logistics company Mitsui-Soko, making almost twice its investment in the company.

Longreach manages over $1.4 billion of assets and has offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai.

The closing of the deal, which involves 136 restaurants, is expected by the end of June.