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NTUC Enterprise to buy Kopitiam in move to keep cooked food prices affordable

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Kopitiam operates 56 food courts, 21 coffeeshops, three hawker centres and two central kitchens, serving about 350,000 meals a day.

NTUC Enterprise Co-operative Limited is acquiring homegrown food centre operator Kopitiam Investment and its subsidiaries as part of its social mission to ensure that cooked food remains affordable and accessible to the Singapore community, it announced on Friday.

The social enterprise arm of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) said in a press release that Kopitiam will complement the current operations of NTUC Foodfare in providing affordable, quality and healthier meal options.

NTUC Enterprise did not indicate the value of the transaction, which it expects to complete by the end of 2018.

Founded in 1988, Kopitiam operates 56 food courts, 21 coffeeshops, three hawker centres and two central kitchens, serving about 350,000 meals a day and employing more than 1,000 staff.

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Following the transaction, NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam will retain their respective management teams and employees and continue operating separately. Under NTUC Enterprise, they will work together to leverage mutual capabilities and seek out common opportunities in areas such as the use of technology.

"Kopitiam and NTUC Foodfare share the common objective of making quality cooked food affordable and accessible to all," said Kee Teck Koon, executive director of NTUC Enterprise.

"We will leverage our combined strengths to contribute to improving the vibrancy and resiliency of this daily essential sector in Singapore, with the ultimate goal of creating better experiences for our customers, and opportunities for our employees and other stakeholders," he said.

Kopitiam Investment chairman Lim Bee Huat said: "Kopitiam started from humble beginnings and we have built the brand into a successful household name. Today, our customers enjoy a good selection of cuisine at affordable prices.

He added, "We are confident that NTUC Enterprise will bring Kopitiam to new heights in serving our community."