Sep 25, 2014

    Jumbo Group may launch IPO next year

    JUMBO Group, the Singapore restaurant chain known for its chilli and black pepper crabs, plans to sell shares in an initial public offering (IPO) next year, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

    The company, controlled by the Ang family, plans to raise about $30 million, the source said, asking not to be identified as the process is private.

    Jumbo intends to use some of the proceeds to expand in China, according to the source.

    Jumbo, led by chief executive Ang Kiam Meng, was founded in 1987 and operates restaurants serving a range of cuisines from seafood to pork rib soup to ramen, according to its website.

    In July last year, it lost a chili crab cooking challenge to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

    The company opened its first overseas restaurant in Shanghai in December.

    "While we do not discount such plans, we cannot comment on market speculations," Ann Chan, an external spokesman for Jumbo, said in an e-mail message to questions about the IPO.

    Restaurant operators listed in Singapore trade at a median of 20.7 times earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

    Soup Restaurant Group, known for its ginger chicken and herbal soups, has risen 186 per cent since its 2007 first-time share sale in the city.

    BreadTalk Group, which runs Din Tai Fung dumpling restaurants in Singapore and Thailand, has advanced 49 per cent this year, outpacing the 4.1 per cent gain in the benchmark Straits Times Index.

    Sakae Holdings, an operator of sushi and teppanyaki eateries, has risen 25 per cent.