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Standard Chartered Private Equity invests US$52m in Crystal Jade

The investment will fund the growth of the restaurant chain across Asia and beyond

Crystal Jade Jiang Nan's 20,000 sq ft outlet in San Francisco has a gallery-like lobby, a bar and private dining rooms. The US$14 million Chinese restaurant is at Four Embarcadero Center of the Californian city.


STANDARD Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) has invested US$52 million in Crystal Jade Group Holdings, an L Capital Asia portfolio company.

The investment will primarily fund the growth of Crystal Jade's existing network of outlets across Asia, as well as the chain's growing global footprint, the UK bank's Singapore-based private equity arm announced on Thursday.

A household name in Chinese cuisine, Crystal Jade now operates more than 100 outlets spanning fine dining, casual and specialty restaurants and bakeries across the Asia-Pacific, with a focus on the Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China markets.

L Capital Asia, luxury group Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy's private-equity arm, acquired 90 per cent of Crystal Jade Group for around US$100 million last May, citing expansion to markets such as the Middle East and Europe and an eventual public listing as possible targets.

Six months later, the chain opened a swish US$14 million, 20,000 sq ft eatery in the heart of San Francisco's business district.

Ravi Thakran, managing partner of L Capital Asia, said that it "warmly welcomed" SCPE as a co-investor in Crystal Jade, pointing to the "successful history of creating value on other assets with SCPE".

L Capital had previously co-invested in a controlling stake in Singapore-based luxury watch retailer Sincere Fine Watches with SCPE in 2009, which they realised in 2012 through a sale to Hong Kong billionaire Pollyanna Chu.

SCPE's investment will further strengthen the resources available to allow full exploitation of the tremendous growth opportunity for Crystal Jade, Mr Thakran added.

Nainesh Jaisingh, global co-head of private equity at SCPE, said: "Crystal Jade is an exciting business, with a strong Asian brand and significant potential across Standard Chartered's footprint.

"We are delighted to join L Capital Asia, with whom we have had a very successful association, and look forward to building a great company together."