EQT looks to exit Singapore’s CFF for $300m

Visual from CFF's website

European private-equity firm EQT is weighing options to sell Singapore headquartered Classic Fine Foods, in a deal that may be worth upwards of $300 million, an executive aware of the development said.

EQT had bought Classic Fine Foods (CFF) in January 2011 for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition was through its EQT Greater China II Fund that makes control or co-control investments in high-quality market leading, medium-sized companies in attractive industries in Asia. EQT Greater China now owns 96 per cent of CFF while the management holds the remaining 4 per cent.

CFF was incorporated in 1999 and has since been built through a combination of acquisitions and greenfield initiatives.

Classic Fine Foods specialises in sourcing importation, storage, marketing and distribution of fine foods products, and its range includes premium and niche dairy, meat, pastry, gastronomies, seafood, high quality perishables, condiments, pasta and dry products. Outside Singapore, it operates in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, UK and France. It also operates its own sourcing organisation in Rungis, France.

The company had registered sales of around $200 million in 2013, and earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization for this period was $16 million.

According to its website, EQT has raised EUR 22 billion so far from over 300 global institutional and professional investors, and more than EUR 13 billion has been invested in around 120 companies, and the private equity firm owns around 60 companies in a variety of industries across the world with more than 500,000 employees and revenues of roughly EUR 25 billion in total.

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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.

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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. 
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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.