Loob Holding Sdn Bhd, the holding company to bubble tea brand Tealive, is looking at a strategic stake sale, according to several sources familiar with the matter.
“Nomura is advising Loob on the stake sale. There are a number of interested suitors for this deal including private equity funds,” said a source.
Another source said: “It is still early days. The information on the stake sale has been shared with the interested suitors.”
When contacted on this, Loob founder and chief executive officer Bryan Loo declined to comment.
“The only thing I can say is that we are committed to continue growing our business during this challenging yet fruitful period while ensuring that the welfare of our staff is being protected at the same time,” he told The Edge.
Looking at Loob’s numbers, the group has been seeing top-line growth. From RM68.06 million in revenue for financial year ended June 30, 2017 (FY2017), Loob’s top line grew to RM86.15 million in FY2018 and RM180.4 million in FY2019.
For the same period, net profit was RM2.36 million in FY2017, fell to RM1.96 million in FY2018 and grew to RM29.88 million in FY2019, according to CTOS information.
Its FY2019 is the most current financial results that are publicly available.
This latest development of a stake sale follows news last year that Loob’s planned IPO exercise has been delayed due to market conditions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Loo was quoted in the media last year as saying that the company will postpone the IPO exercise, citing weak market sentiment.
Bloomberg first reported in May 2019 that Loob was considering an IPO to raise as much as RM300 million in 2020.
The wires, citing sources, reported then that Loob was considering seeking a valuation of as much as RM1 billion.
According to Loob’s website, Tealive has more than 520 outlets globally, including Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Philippines, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Loob also operates other retail food brands that include Ko Ko Kai, Gindaco, and Define Food.
Source: The Edge