CVC Capital Confirms Purchase of Malaysian Snack Producer Munchy

(Bloomberg) -- CVC Capital Partners acquired Malaysian snack producer Munchy Food Industries Sdn., as the private equity firm deepens its exposure to the fast-growing consumer industry in Southeast Asia.

The London-based investment firm’s Asia Fund IV completed the purchase of a 100 percent stake in Munchy Food on June 8, it said in an emailed statement Wednesday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. Before the acquisition, Munchy was 70 percent owned by its founders, with the remainder held by Southeast Asia-focused investment firm TAP Crunch Sdn., the statement shows.

CVC paid about $250 million for the business, a person with knowledge of the matter said earlier this week. It decided to buy Munchy in part because it saw potential in the Malaysian firm’s already-strong export business, the person said. The company makes Munchy’s crackers, as well as biscuits and wafers sold under the Lexus, Oat Krunch and Muzic brands that are marketed in more than 50 countries, its website shows.

Foreign investors have been betting that economic growth in Southeast Asia will fuel demand for higher-end consumer products. The region’s economy grew 5.2 percent last year, up from 4.7 percent in 2016, according to the Asian Development Bank, and it’s forecast to grow at the same pace this year and next.

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Munchy had 14 percent share of Malaysia’s $112 million sweet biscuit market in 2017, the second-biggest maker in the country, Euromonitor International data show. The company’s management team, personnel and business operating system have been fully retained after the takeover by CVC, according to Wednesday’s statement.

Rodney Wong, who has been with Munchy since 2014, remains as chief executive officer and will be on the board along with Chief Operating Officer Rajan Pillai and CVC representatives.

CVC has separately invested about $150 million in PT GarudaFood Putra Putri Jaya, Indonesia’s top snack-food maker, ahead of a planned initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this week. The firm, known for its roasted peanuts, is No. 1 in Indonesia’s market for savory snacks, according to Euromonitor.

The CVC Asia Fund IV has made five investments in the past 12 months, including the deals for Munchy and GarudaFood, the person with knowledge of the matter said earlier this week. In December, CVC bought a stake in Riraku, a Japanese operator of relaxation-therapy centers, and a month later, it invested in Vietnam’s Asia Commercial Bank, its website shows. The fund also said last month it agreed to buy OANDA Global Corp., an online retail trading platform.

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