Malaysian bubble tea chain Tealive to postpone IPO to mid-2021

Image from Tealive facebook

Malaysia’s Loob Holding, which owns the Tealive bubble tea brand, is postponing its planned initial public offering slated for this year to at least mid-2021, citing weak market sentiment.

“We have delayed our IPO to next year because it is not the right sentiment to push across. And we want to ramp up [a] few new business funnels before listing next year,” Loob Holding CEO Bryan Loo told DealStreetAsia. “Definitely, mid-next year or later,” he added, commenting on the new timeline.

DealStreetAsia understands that CIMB Investment Bank and RHB Investment Bank have been appointed as advisers for the IPO. 

Loob Holding’s Tealive brand has more than 500 outlets in Malaysia. The company also owns other food and beverage brands such as Ko Ko Kai and Define Food. 

The Kuala Lumpur-based food and beverage company has been pursuing a plan to expand its presence in the fast-moving consumer goods industry that is expected to serve as a significant business for the company, Loo said.

Tealive, which serves bubble tea at its shops and kiosks, collaborated with Unilever’s Wall’s to launch Boba Milk Tea ice cream during the partial-lockdown period in Malaysia in April. Tealive has also started selling ready-to-drink milk tea and coffee online following its shift into the FMCG industry.

There will be more FMCG products launched in the next six months, Loo added. 

“Wall’s ice cream has been a runaway success for us, and e-commerce has been serving our model well too. We want to deep dive into both funnels before next year’s listing,” he said.

Bloomberg first reported in May last year that Loob Holding was considering an IPO  to raise as much as 300 million ringgit ($70 million) in 2020. As reported then, the firm was seeking a valuation of as much as RM1 billion ($233.3 million).

Loo, however, declined to comment on the size of the proposed offering and the valuation.

The bubble tea market, valued at $2.4 billion in 2019, is estimated to reach $4.3 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 7.8% from 2020 to 2027, according to a report by Allied Market Research.

In the same space, Naixue’s Tea, one of the biggest bubble tea chains in China, is considering an initial public offering in the US targeting to raise as much as $400 million, Bloomberg reported in February.

In Taiwan, La Kaffa International, which owns the Chatime brand, has been listed on the Taipei Exchange since 2015. It has a market capitalisation of TWD5.77 billion ($195.7 million) at press time. B&S International Holdings, which runs the TenRen brand and made a debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2018, has a market capitalisation of HK$142 million ($18.32 million).

Loob Holding’s IPO deferment comes after Creador-backed Mr. D.I.Y. was reported to have been considering delaying its IPO that targeted to raise about $500 million.

The Malaysian stock exchange has not seen any listing activity since the debut of Polydamic Group Bhd on the LEAP Market on March 23 this year. Reservoir Link Energy Bhd, which would be the eighth listing this year, is scheduled to make its debut on July 15.

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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.