Local celeb-owned brand Twelve Cupcakes sold to Indian tea company for SG$2.5m

Home grown brand Twelve Cupcakes, the cupcake franchise famously owned and founded by local celebrity couple Jaime Teo and Daniel Ong, has been sold to Indian tea producer, Dhunseri Group, for SG$2.5million.

According to multiple local reports, Dhunseri Group is said to be one of India’s largest tea producers and is based in Kolkata. In a statement to TODAY, Mrigank Dhanuka, vice chairman and the managing director of Dhunseri Group, confirmed that a 100% buyout was made in Twelve Cupcakes. The sale was completed last December.

He added that the move will help the group establish a strong foothold in the Singapore food and beverage scene. Dhunseri Group is also looking at “turning the business around”, which Dhanuka said is at about cash break-even point.

Multiple news reports state that Dhanuka is now based in Singapore to head up operations for Twelve Cupcakes. In an interview with The Straits Times, he revealed that plans are underway to add eight more outlets after business has stabilised. This is on top of the cupcake chain’s 17 outlets in Singapore, along with intentions to expand its offering in terms of flavours and diversifying into other kinds of desserts.

Dhunseri, which has been around for around five decades according to its corporate site, also has plans to expand in the region post the Twelve Cupcakes acquisition. It widened its reach from eight estates to 10 estates during the time period of 2012 to 2013 in Assam, allowing it to become one of the 10 largest tea producers in India.

Marketing has reached out to Dhunseri Group and Twelve Cupcakes for comment.

The sale follows news of Twelve Cupcake's celebrity founders split in December. Daniel Ong (pictured left) is a local radio and television host whereas Jaime Teo (pictured right) is a former Miss Singapore Universe.