Advent International partners with Wagas, a leading lifestyle restaurant group in China
Shanghai, 20 September 2022 – Advent International (“Advent”), one of the world’s largest and most experienced private equity investors, today announced that it has acquired a 60% interest in Wagas Group (“Wagas” or the “Group”), a leading lifestyle F&B group, from the founding shareholders of Wagas. Wagas’ founding shareholders will continue to manage the Group on a day-to-day basis. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Since it was founded in 1999, Wagas has pioneered the healthy light food industry in China and garnered wide popularity for its fresh, quality, all-day dining. Inspiring people to “Eat Well, Live Well”, the multi-brand restaurant group has around 250 locations across China under the Wagas, Baker and Spice, Funk & Kale and LOKAL brands. The company has a strong foothold in Shanghai and Beijing, along with a presence in 11 other cities throughout China.
With a leading position in a sizeable and growing market in China and a dedication to providing best-in-class food and beverages, Wagas is well placed to tap the country’s increasing health awareness and growing lifestyle trend. The partnership with Advent will help expand the restaurant Group’s footprint across China and boost investment in the brand, including its product offerings, menu innovations and operational infrastructure and systems.
David Chen, Principal of Advent, said, “Consumers are increasingly pursuing healthy lifestyles and we believe demand for casual, quality dining options will continue to see rapid growth. We are highly impressed with Wagas’ people and culture, its dedication to quality, and its longstanding partnerships with top mall operators in China. Advent has the expertise and strong track record in creating lasting value for restaurant brands and we look forward to providing our best resources, commitment to the brand’s high-quality offering and support for its national growth plans.”
John Fohlmann Christensen, Founder of Wagas and Jackie Yun, Managing Partner of Wagas, commented, “We welcome Advent to the Wagas family and are very excited about a fun, new journey together. Quality remains at the core of Wagas, and we believe Advent is an ideal partner to further strengthen our foundation and support us with our continued expansion across Greater China. Advent’s success in helping customers integrate consumer products into customers’ lives aligns perfectly with our ‘Eat Well, Live Well’ mantra. This is the Wagas way and we are thankful to Advent for believing in us, our team and our brands.”
Andrew Li, Managing Director, Head of Greater China of Advent, said, “This deal plays to Advent’s strong track record in the consumer and leisure sectors and our commitment to supporting industry-leading and innovative businesses in China. We are excited to partner with John and Jackie during this next chapter of the business.”
Advent has been investing in the retail, consumer and leisure sectors for over 30 years and has completed over 80 investments worldwide. Relevant Advent investments include Lululemon, First Watch, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Bojangles, IRCA and Dufry. Advent has completed 18 deals across China and Asia since 2014, including AI Dream, China’s leading branded sleep solution provider and the largest player in the country’s premium mattress market; BioDuro, a leading global life sciences contract research and development organization with major operations in Shanghai, Beijing and San Diego; GS capsule, the largest domestic capsule provider in China; and The Learning Lab, the leading provider of K-12 academic enrichment and tutorial services in Singapore.
Founded in 1999, Wagas is one of the largest independent western casual restaurant groups in China operating a portfolio of lifestyle F&B brands. The group has around 250 locations across China, providing fresh, quality, all–day dining. The multi–brand restaurant group includes: Wagas, a healthy lifestyle café; Baker and Spice, offering casual all–day dining; Funk & Kale, an experimental and trendy café and LOKAL, a bistro–bar. The company has a strong foothold in Shanghai and Beijing, along with presence in 11 other cities throughout China.
About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 395 private equity investments across 41 countries, and as of March 31, 2022, had $76 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of 270 private equity investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. For over 35 years, Advent has been dedicated to international investing and remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.