Pan-emerging markets private equity firm Actis has backed Chinese casual dining chain Bellagio. Founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the Lin Family, the company has 35 restaurants across a number of Chinese cities, as well as Macau and the Philippines.
Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity firm, continues to tap into China’s rising domestic consumption with an investment in Bellagio, one of the country’s most popular casual dining chains.
Bellagio is renowned for its tasty Taiwanese-style dishes and shaved ice desserts, while its contemporary restaurant design and excellent customer service have a loyal following. Founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the Lin Family, the company today has 35 restaurants across a number of Chinese cities, as well as Macau and the Philippines. In a consumer survey commissioned by Actis, Bellagio stood out against its peers in terms of both brand awareness and customer advocacy.
Following Actis’s investment, Bellagio will expand its restaurant network in top-tier Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, and second-tier cities, including Nanjing, Wuhan and Fuzhou, where spending patterns are quickly catching up with those of the first tier.
Actis is backing industry veteran and former COO of Yum China, Mr. Joseph Han, as the new Chairman and CEO of Bellagio. Mr. Han is highly regarded in the Chinese restaurant community for his achievements in the industry over the last 20 years. Mr. Fred Lin remains onboard as General Manager. Actis has also professionalised the broader management team with a number of key hires in operations, finance and product development.
Meng Ann Lim, Head of China and South East Asia at Actis, said: “We are proud to have been selected as Bellagio’s private equity partner. The Lin Family has established an immensely successful brand and created a uniquely people-oriented culture in Bellagio. With Mr. Han at the helm, we are confident of taking the company to new heights.”
Joseph Han, Chairman and CEO of Bellagio, said: “The Lin Family has been instrumental in the development of the Bellagio brand as a name synonymous with excellent food at affordable prices. Actis has rich investment experience in the restaurant sector, and I look forward to working with Actis, the Lin Family and the Bellagio team to continue building the business. ”
Actis invests exclusively in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America; it currently has US$5 billion funds under management. Combining the expertise of over 100 investment professionals on the ground in nine countries, Actis identifies investment opportunities in three areas: private equity, energy and real estate. Actis is strongly committed to China with close to US$800m invested in leading Chinese businesses. Actis is proud to actively and positively grow the value of those companies in which it invests and in so doing contribute to broader society.
Haw-Yan Man / Alastair Fairbrother
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