[THE INVESTOR] VIG Partners said on Nov. 30 it has signed a deal to become the largest shareholder of Bonchon International, the Seoul-based hansik franchise best known for its Korean-style friend chicken.
The private equity firm said it will own a 55 percent stake in Bonchon, declining to disclose the total deal price.
Bonchon, established in 2006, more recently is expanding its presence globally as it is taking advantage of the K-food sensation in the US and Asian markets. Following its first overseas restaurant in Manhattan, New York, the firm now operates more than 325 stores in eight countries, including 85 stores in the US alone.
Bonchon's Korean-style fried chicken
With increasing appetite for Korean fried chicken among US consumers as well as master franchise deals in Asia, the firm’s revenue has almost doubled to 25 billion won (US$22.12 million) over the past three years. Its EBITDA is also estimated to have tripled to 11 billion won during the same period.
“Bonchon is a unique company that first introduced Korean-style fried chicken to the US market and has successfully established its brand in Asia,” said Park Byung-moo, managing partner at VIG Partners. “Like K-fashion and K-beauty, we believe K-food will continue to gain interest globally.”
The deal is expected to close in late-December and will be VIG’s seventh investment from its Fund III worth 700 billion won launched in January last year.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)