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Sub Sri Thai acquires Greyhound

Takeover of fashion/cafe firm for boost in foreign markets

Listed company Sub Sri Thai (SST) has invested Bt1.8 billion to acquire Greyhound Group, a leading fashion and cafe company, to strengthen its business in overseas markets.

Sumrit Tantidilokkul, managing director of SST, said in a report to the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday that the company and its subsidiary, Mudman Co, had entered a transaction to purchase 969,900 shares (par value Bt100 each) of Greyhound Co (GHF), and 107,843 shares (par value Bt100 each) of Greyhound Cafe Co (GHC), from the existing shareholders of both companies for a total cost of Bt1.85 billion.

SST says the acquisition provides an opportunity to strengthen its position in the food and beverage business, enlarge its customer base, leverage on its strong operational platform to expand into international markets, and gain vital access to fashion and apparel business.

The company will have its own brand in addition to the existing franchise business, creating strong potential for future business growth, it said. The acquisition will not only enhance the growth prospects and improve internal cash flow of the company, but will also enable it to achieve a more favourable risk profile through portfolio diversification.

The sources of funds for the transaction are Mudman's new share issuance, loans from financial institutions, and loans from existing shareholders of GHF and GHC.

Bhanu Inkawat, founder and creative director of Greyhound, said his company and SST shared the same business vision of overseas expansion, especially in Asia. Under the partnership, SST will help Greyhound in the areas of new-market penetration, investment feasibility studies, and development of its back-office system.

Bhanu said the company currently operated 15 Greyhound franchised outlets in Asia, both fashion outlets and cafes, including five in Hong Kong and one each in Shanghai and Beijing. It plans to have 25 overseas outlets within three to five years. The future expansion will be through both joint ventures and franchising, and will focus on high-potential markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Dubai.

In January 2012, SST acquired 100 per cent of three firms, Mudman, Golden Donuts (Thailand) Co and ABP Cafe (Thailand) Co, for a total investment of Bt1.45 billion. Golden Donuts is the country's master franchisee of Dunkin' Donuts. ABP is the country's exclusive franchisee of Au Bon Pain, a global cafe and dining chain.

In July 2012, SST expanded further in the food segment by acquiring Baskin Robbins' operation with the investment cost of Bt47 million.

As a result of the acquisitions in the past few years, SST's revenue in 2012 surged to Bt2.22 billion from Bt891.53 million in 2011.

In the first quarter of this year, SST reported revenue of Bt526 million and a net loss of Bt23.81 million.

SST's stock price yesterday closed at Bt22.10, down 7.92 per cent.


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