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|| Dubai private equity firm Abraaj acquired stake in Thailand's Wine Connection Group

abraaj asia thailandDubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the Wine Connection Group, Southeast Asia’s leading wine themed Food and Beverage chain.

Founded in Thailand in 1998, Wine Connection has over 55 outlets in Singapore and Thailand. It is Abraaj’s fourth Food and Beverage investment in Southeast Asia. (Abraaj has invested in over 20 F&B related businesses globally). Terms of the deal is not disclosed.

Abraaj is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR01.

More details follows:

The Abraaj Group (‘Abraaj’ or ‘The Group’), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, today announced the acquisition, through its Fund, of a majority stake in the Wine Connection Group (‘Wine Connection’ or ‘the Company’), Southeast Asia’s leading wine themed Food and Beverage (‘F&B’) chain.

Founded in 1998, Wine Connection offers affordable, high quality and exclusive wines from around the world through owned F&B outlets. Since inception, it has grown into the largest owner and operator of wine themed F&B concepts in Southeast Asia, with over 55 outlets in Singapore and Thailand. The Company targets the region’s growing middle class through a differentiated offering focusing on affordable and quality western food and beverages.

Wine Connection marks Abraaj’s fourth F&B investment in Southeast Asia. The Group has invested in over 20 F&B related businesses globally, including Acurio Restaurantes, a leading Peruvian restaurant group, and Yorsan, a leading branded dairy producer and distributor in Turkey. Abraaj will draw on its deep expertise in both the region and the industry to drive growth by increasing Wine Connection’s footprint in existing markets and replicating its successful business model across new territories, both regionally in Southeast Asia and beyond.
The F&B sector is a direct beneficiary of the domestic, consumption-led growth evident across Southeast Asia. Rapid population growth, urbanization and the rise of the middle class across the region are the primary drivers for the sector’s growth and Wine Connection is well positioned with its focused offering to leverage the opportunities that come with these fundamental market dynamics.

Omar Lodhi, Partner and Head of Southeast Asia at The Abraaj Group, said: “Our investment in Wine Connection aligns with our proven strategy of seeking to invest in companies in growth markets, driven by attractive long-term market dynamics. Wine Connection is a very exciting business that presents attractive potential for growth and we are delighted to be partnering with Michael Trocherie and his team at this stage of the company’s evolution. Leveraging our regional and F&B experience, combined with Michael’s skills, we are confident that we will be able to drive the company towards even greater success in the future.”

Michael Trocherie, Founder and CEO of the Wine Connection Group said: “Having come from France, I arrived in Thailand and realized that there was a noticeable gap in both the wine retail and western F&B space at the time. That realization proved to be accurate and led to substantial growth, which we were then able to replicate in Singapore. Today, the business has reached a size and scale whereby we believe Abraaj will be an ideal partner to take the business to the next level, both in terms of enhancing the existing business and expanding geographically by leveraging their global footprint and F&B expertise. I believe the opportunity in both Southeast Asia and globally is immense and I look forward to working with Abraaj in the years to come.”

Srisant Chitvaranund, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group, said: “Wine Connection’s success since opening in 1998 is a testament to its ability to focus on an offering that taps into the rising middle class in Southeast Asia. The consumption-led growth across the region will provide us with a robust platform to expand Wine Connection into the next phase of its growth, leveraging operational efficiencies, increasing the number of stores in its current markets and targeting new countries both in the region and around the world. With our excellent track record of developing businesses in Southeast Asia, we are extremely excited about the opportunity to work with Wine Connection’s management team to take it to the next level.”



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