Actis said to have divested majority stake in Singapore’s PS Gourmet

Photo: PS.Cafe website

UK-headquartered private equity major Actis is said to have divested its majority ownership in Singapore’s PS Gourmet, the operator of casual dining restaurant PS.Cafe, DealStreetAsia has learnt.

Singapore-based private investment firm Sun Venture is understood to have bought the stake from Actis for an undisclosed sum, according to three people familiar with the development. Both parties are believed to have signed the agreement last week.

The acquisition of PS Gourmet’s stake marks Sun Venture’s first investment from its maiden private equity fund that was launched last year, according to two of the sources mentioned above.

The PE fund is likely to primarily secure commitments from the founding chairman Richard Au’s family and may not be a blind pool fund drawn from external limited partners.

Incorporated in 2006, Sun Venture runs three investment lines, namely real estate, public markets and private equity.

When contacted by DealStreetAsia, an Actis spokesperson declined to comment while Sun Venture did not respond to an e-mail seeking confirmation.

PS Gourmet came under the portfolio of Actis following the latter’s acquisition of Dubai-based buyout firm Abraaj Group’s Southeast Asia Fund II in September 2019. Abraaj is said to have acquired PS Gourmet in early 2016 for an undisclosed value.

PS Gourmet‘s food and beverage brands include PS.Cafe, PS.Cafe Petit, Chopsuey Cafe and Jypsy. The company has 10 PS.Cafe outlets as well as one each of Chopsuey Cafe and Jypsy in Singapore. It also has one PS.Cafe outlet in Seoul, and two in Shanghai.

Aside from PS Gourmet, Actis has also been trying to sell its ownership in Indonesia’s international school chain SIS Group, another portfolio firm of the erstwhile Abraaj vehicle, as reported by DealStreetAsia in December 2019. Actis planned to conduct the official stake sale process in early 2020 but it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the collapse of the Abraaj Group, Actis acquired four funds from the Dubai-based PE firm.

It acquired global buyout fund Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV and sub-Saharan Africa-focused fund Abraaj Africa Fund III in July 2019. This transaction included 14 portfolio companies valued at $2.6 billion.

In September 2019, Actis went on to buy out two more of Abraaj’s buyout funds, namely Abraaj Africa Fund II and Abraaj South East Asia Fund II.

Since the acquisition, Actis has managed to integrate the Abraaj team into Actis and focused on value creation and working with the management, Ellen Li, Actis’s managing director, head of Asia, Investor Development Group told DealStreetAsia last year.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.