Darby Asia Opportunities Fund III has provided financing to an EQT-led consortium that acquired a majority stake in franchise operator China F&B Group. Board members and management invested together with the new controlling shareholders and the founder, Mr. Li Ping, who continues to own shares in the company and act as chairman.
Darby Private Equity (“Darby”), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced that Darby Asia Opportunities Fund III, provided financing to a EQT-led consortium that acquired a majority stake in franchise operator China F&B Group. Board members and management invested together with the new controlling shareholders and the founder, Mr. Li Ping, who continues to own shares in the company and act as Chairman.
China F&B Group is the franchise operator of two international restaurant chains; China Dairy Queen, the largest ice cream restaurant chain in China and Papa John’s Pizza, the second largest pizza restaurant chain in China. Founded in 2003, China F&B Group is today the largest franchisee of both Dairy Queen and Papa John’s Pizza outside the United States, with over 500 restaurants in China. China F&B Group has around 7,000 employees.
David Hudson, senior managing director, Darby Asia, commented, “China F&B Group is well positioned to take advantage of the accelerating urbanization trends in China. We are attracted to China F&B Group because of its market leadership position, renowned business franchise and growth potential.”
“Funds advised by Darby Asia have provided acquisition and expansion capital financing to a number of investments,” added Simon Sham, managing director, Darby Asia. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide financing in the acquisition of China F&B Group, which is led by very strong sponsor shareholders and committed management. The long-term growth of China F&B Group has high potential given the commitment of all parties.”
Darby Private Equity was founded in 1994 by The Honorable Nicholas F. Brady, who served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury between 1988 and 1993. Richard Frank joined the firm as CEO in 1997 after his career at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)/World Bank. In 2003, Darby became a fully-owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. For more information please visit darbyoverseas.com.
Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Franklin Mutual Series, Franklin Bissett, Fiduciary Trust, Darby, Balanced Equity Management and K2 investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over US$879 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2013. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.
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