Capital Today Is Said to Plan Spicy Crab Restaurant Stake Sale

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese private equity firm Capital Today is planning to sell its stake in Shanghai-based chili crab specialist Bi Feng Tang, which runs more than 100 restaurants across the country, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The consumer-focused investment firm has hired an adviser to help find a buyer for its 28.5 percent holding in Bi Feng Tang, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. A deal could value the restaurant chain, whose name means “typhoon shelter,” at as much as $400 million, one of the people said.

Capital Today is seeking a sale of its stake after a failed attempt by Bi Feng Tang to list shares in Hong Kong about two years ago. Any disposal would add to the $4 billion of restaurant-related acquisitions announced in Asia Pacific this year, a ninefold increase from the same period in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Representatives for Capital Today and Bi Feng Tang declined to comment.

Bi Feng Tang’s name refers to a Cantonese style of preparing crab and other seafood with a surfeit of finely chopped fried garlic and chilies. Its outlets also offer other Hong Kong specialties including roasted goose, steamed dim sum and fried rice noodles with beef. The restaurant chain, founded in Shanghai in 1998, has about 8,000 employees, its website shows.