BDA Advises Minor International on Acquisition of Riverside Casual Dining Chain in China

Strong-performing, US$2.4bn Thailand-based hospitality group extends China reach; Ambitious cross-border restaurant transaction initiated by BDA

New York, NY, December 28, 2012 --( Business Development Asia LLC (“BDA”) is pleased to announce that its client, Minor International (“MINT”) has made an investment in Beijing Riverside & Courtyard (“Riverside”). Riverside is a chain of casual-concept restaurants in China, specializing in Sichuan barbecued fish. Established in 2005, Riverside has built strong brand equity and customer loyalty for its traditional sizzling fish dishes, combining country-style cooking with well-groomed service, and contemporary decor. Riverside has grown rapidly, and will have 22 restaurants across Beijing and Shanghai by the end of 2012. Riverside’s revenue is expected to reach RMB180m (US$29m) in 2012, and targeting RMB240m (US$39m) in 2013.

MINT’s investment is RMB249m (US$40m) for the initial 49% stake acquired from a financial investor, together with a convertible loan that entitles MINT to another 11%-30% stake in Riverside over the coming two years, subject to a performance hurdle. The investment will be funded by a combination of MINT’s operating cash flows and financing facilities. The remaining shares of Riverside will continue to be held by the original founders. Despite its initial 49% stake, MINT will hold a majority of Riverside’s Board seats.

BDA has so far closed 18 transactions in 2012, including seven involving China, and five in the consumer space, making us one of the leading M&A advisors in the market. BDA is working on multiple live transactions in the Asian consumer and retail space, which has emerged as a focus for BDA. BDA has known and worked with MINT since BDA’s formation in 1996.

William E. Heinecke, Chairman and CEO of Minor International. commented, “China is a country of vast opportunities that arise from its rapidly growing middle class, accumulation of wealth, and increasing domestic consumption. Since our entry into the country in 2005, MINT has expanded to 19 restaurants under The Pizza Company, Sizzler and Thai Express brands in Beijing, and The Coffee Club in Guangzhou. We manage a luxury hotel, Anantara Sanya Resort & Spa, and 7 spas across the country. Our experience in China has afforded us an understanding of local consumer preferences and how best to navigate the country’s dynamic business environment. The lessons we learned have enabled us to improve performance year over year. Most recently, our first hotel launch in China has been well-received by domestic and international tourists. I am confident that Riverside will add a new dimension to our market coverage in China and greatly contribute to our success there.”

Paul Kenny, CEO of Minor Food Group, added, “Riverside is a unique food concept and the number of players in this space is still limited. Not only does this acquisition enhance our diversification and double the number of our restaurants in the world’s most populous nation, it will also bring in immediate earnings, which will be a turning point for our entire food business in China operationally and financially in 2013. The brand offers potential to significantly expand the number of outlets post-acquisition. It is another milestone that reinforces our commitment to strengthen our business in China. Riverside’s founders will remain the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, and they will gain an advantage of expanding into new frontiers by becoming a part of MINT’s international food chain, thus leveraging on our depth of management expertise and resources. The synergistic value is priceless.”

BDA Deal Team
Paul DiGiacomo, Managing Director, Hong Kong
Shan Yue, Director, Shanghai
Jess Zhou, Associate, Hong Kong
Jiageng Li, Analyst, Shanghai

About Minor International PCL
Minor International Pcl (‘MINT’) trades on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, with market cap US$2.4bn, as of 24th December 2012. MINT is one of the largest hospitality and leisure companies in the Asia Pacific and Africa. MINT has over 80 hotels & resorts, 1,300 restaurants and 200 retail trading outlets. MINT is one of Asia’s largest restaurant companies with over 1,300 outlets operating system wide in 18 countries under The Pizza Company, Swensen’s, Sizzler, Dairy Queen, Burger King, Thai Express, the Coffee Club and Ribs and Rumps brands. MINT is also a hotel owner, operator and investor with a portfolio of 41 hotels and 40 serviced suites properties under the Anantara, Avani, Oaks, Marriott, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Elewana and Minor International brands in Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, the Maldives, Vietnam, Tanzania, Kenya, the Middle East, Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. MINT is one of Thailand’s largest distributors of lifestyle brands, focusing primarily on fashion, cosmetics and contract manufacturing. Its brands include Gap, Esprit, Bossini, Charles & Keith, Pedro, Red Earth, Tumi, Zwilling / J.A. Henckels, and ETL Learning. Further information is available at

About Beijing Riverside & Courtyard Co Ltd
Headquartered in Beijing and founded in 2005, Riverside is a casual dining restaurant chain specializes on Sichuan style barbeque fish. Riverside has 22 restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai, and a central kitchen and training centre in Beijing.

About BDA
Business Development Asia LLC (“BDA”) is a leader in cross-border investment banking in Asia. BDA advises on M&A, capital raising, and restructuring. BDA has been consistently owned and managed by the same team since 1996. BDA has a track record of providing independent advice to blue-chip corporate and financial sponsor clients from North America, Europe and Asia. BDA was named Investment Banking Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor in both 2012 and 2010. BDA is headquartered in New York with offices in London, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Bahrain, Seoul and Tokyo. BDA formed a partnership with William Blair & Company in 2011. Further information is available at

For more information regarding this transaction, please contact Shan Yue in Shanghai on (86) 21 5407 5580 or Paul DiGiacomo in Hong Kong on (852) 2537 9565.
Euan Rellie