by TMR / pic by TMR FILE
THE owner of tea brand Tealive, Loob Holding Sdn Bhd, has acquired a 35% stake in market-leading kombucha brand WonderBrew as part of its plan to be the largest drinks portfolio company in Southeast Asia.
WonderBrew, a home-grown lifestyle beverage brand that specialises in kombucha (fermented tea), is owned by Wonder Group Sdn Bhd.
WonderBrew is available at over 700 locations, Loob said in a statement today.
This private deal for an undisclosed sum was completed within weeks of the entry of private equity fund Creador into Loob itself with a 30% stake purchase.
Loob founder and CEO Bryan Loo said this opportunity to take a strategic stake came at the right time as WonderBrew had consistently outperformed general market conditions, with sales having doubled in 2020 and again this year, despite the pandemic lockdown.
WonderBrew founders Joseph Poh Wen Xian and Loke Boon Eng (Boon) started the brand on a small scale in 2018.
“We saw in the WonderBrew founders Joseph and Boon, the same flame of entrepreneurship that we have. Our entry is to take it regionally and accelerate its touchpoints for all channels,” said Loo.
He added, there was already a lot of synergy for both teams in research and development of new products, sales and marketing as well as operations.
“The possibilities are exciting as the kombucha category is booming in this region with greater awareness and demand for natural foods and ingredients. Together, we can propel WonderBrew to greater heights in the region where we will drive mass consumption of kombucha across various channels,” said Loo.
In welcoming Loob as a partner, Wonder Group CEO Joseph Poh was confident that WonderBrew kombucha would now be much more accessible to consumers everywhere leveraging on Loob’s vast experience in the beverage segment.
Poh said with Loob coming onboard as a strategic investor at the right timing, the company was ready for the next level of growth with a more structured regional expansion plan.
Domestically, WonderBrew would also explore collaborative opportunities with Loob’s various brands, especially Tealive.