Partners backs Chinese restaurant chain

The firm’s investment will be used to further institutionalise and expand the business in China.

Swiss investment firm Partners Group has struck its second Asia deal in the last few weeks, acquiring 30 percent of Chinese casual dining restaurant group Green Tea Restaurant, according to a company statement.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, however Private Equity Internationalunderstands the firm’s investment came from a number of different funds and client mandates.

From a single restaurant in Hangzhou in 2008, Green Tea Restaurant has grown into 78 restaurants across 19 cities in China. The restaurant serves Chinese fusion cuisine in a traditional dining environment. The company employs 4,500 people and serves around 15 million customers per year.

Partners’ investment will be used to enhance the company’s marketing strategy and corporate governance framework. The firm’s Industry Value Creation and Real Estate teams will also assist in optimising site selection for new restaurants.

Commenting on the transaction, Sheng Liu a senior vice president in the firm’s Private Equity Asia team said the company’s growth has been supported by secular trends, such as increasing disposable income and urbanisation, as well as by the growing number of shopping malls in China and the expansion of the casual dining sector.

Following the transaction, Tim Pihl Johannessen, a managing director in Partners Group's Industry Value Creation team, and Liu will join the company’s board of directors.

Partners also recently acquired Manila-headquartered business process outsourcing firm SPi Global from CVC Capital Partners in a deal valuing the company at $330 million.

Partners manages around $32 billion of private equity assets and invested in over 100 businesses since its inception in 1996.