Private equity firm snaps up 30% stake in Tealive's parent firm Loob Holding

Private equity firm Creador has acquired 30% stake in Tealive's parent company, Loob Holding, marking the former's 39th investment since its inception in 2011. Brahmal Vasudevan, founder and CEO of Creador, said Loob was chosen as its first investment in the fast-growing F&B sector citing its substantial revenue growth and having over 650 stores in less than five years.

Both companies expressed confidence the partnership would take Loob to the next level, given Creador’s experience in aiding in the regional growth of its investee companies. According to Vasudevan, the made-to-order tea market in Malaysia has grown over 20% in the last few years, and the beverage chain per million population remains underpenetrated when compared with peers in the region and developed countries.

Therefore, with Loob’s management team marketing and execution capabilities, Creador seeks to add value and capitalise on fast-changing consumer trends in the F&B industry to establish a strong brand in the region, seeing opportunity for further growth not only in Malaysia but also in the neighbouring ASEAN markets. 

In addition to the popular Tealive brand, Loob Holding’s stable includes new beverage series, ready-to-eat food products under the brand Tealive Eats, and affordable coffee chain Bask Bear Coffee. Vasudevan explained that Tealive’s multi-format outlets, which include shop lots as well as outlets in malls and petrol kiosks, and its omnichannel offerings via food delivery platforms have helped it maintain a stellar performance despite the pandemic. He also said that the investment in Loob through Uttama, an affiliate of Creador IV LP, would enable Creador to participate in the growth story of Tealive which was already present in eight countries. A+M has reached out to Loob for additional information.

Loob Holding founder and CEO, Bryan Loo (pictured), said the timing of the acquisition could not be better with Tealive’s plan to hit the 1,000 store milestone in Malaysia in the next three years. “We will continue to focus on our digital strategy and prioritising customer convenience including various cashless and contactless ordering channels – scan to order, order ahead and drive-in model across the store network,” he said.

The acquisition follows Loob Holding’s recent announcement of its plans for expansion, looking to open up at least 130 to 150 outlets a year, mainly in Johor, East Coast and Sabah, and Sarawak. It said that the confidence comes from its strong brand loyalty and continued focus on customer convenience and digital strategy.

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