Creador buys 30% of Loob

by PRIYA VASU / pic credit:

CREADOR, a private equity firm focused on long-term investments in growth-oriented businesses in South-East Asia and India, has agreed to buy a 30% stake in Loob Holding Sdn Bhd, the owner of the top regional lifestyle tea brand, Tealive.

The transaction price was not disclosed. In a joint statement yesterday, both companies expressed confidence the strategic partnership would take Loob to the next level, especially given Creador’s track record in aiding in the regional growth of its investee companies.

Creador founder and CEO Brahmal Vasudevan (picture) said the firm chose Loob to be its first investment in the fast-growing food and beverage sector as Tealive has grown to be a regional company with over 650 stores in less than five years.

Brahmal cited Loob’s impressive revenue of RM307 million and net income of RM58 million for the financial year 2020.

This translated to a phenomenal three-year compounded annual growth rate of 56% in revenue and 180% in net income.

Despite the pandemic, Tealive’s multi-format outlets, which include shoplots as well as outlets in malls and petrol kiosks, and its omnichannel offerings via food delivery platforms have helped it maintain a stellar performance, he said.

He added this investment, through Uttama Ltd, an affiliate of Creador IV LP, would enable Creador to participate in the growth story of Tealive which was already present in eight countries.

“The made-to-order tea market in Malaysia has been growing over 20% in the last few years and the beverage chain per million population remains underpenetrated compared to peers in the region and developed countries,” he added.

Loob founder and CEO Bryan Loo welcomed Creador as a strategic investor and partner, adding that the timing could not be better with Tealive’s plan to hit the 1,000th store milestone in Malaysia in the next three years.

“We will continue to focus on our digital strategy and prioritising customer convenience including various cashless and contactless ordering channels — scan to order, order ahead and drive-in model across the store network,” he said.