Retail in Asia

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Tim Hortons China eyes IPO

Tim Hortons

North American fast-food chain Tim Hortons plans to list its China joint venture on New York’s Nasdaq, on the back of a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Silver Crest Acquisition.

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The Canadian doughnut-and-coffee chain, known as Tims in mainland China, has merged with the U.S. blank cheque company backed by the private equity firm Ascendent Capital Partners, for a listing that values Tims at US$1.7 billion, according to a regulatory filing.

The New York listing is slated to take place in the fourth quarter of this year.

Founded in 2019, Tim Hortons China is operated as a venture between the private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group and Restaurant Brands International, which owns Tim Hortons as well as the franchises for Burger King and Popeyes. Other investors include Sequoia Capital China and Tencent Holdings.

Tims China’s current stakeholders will retain an 80 percent stake following the merger, the filing added.

Debuting two years ago, Tims China opened its first store in Shanghai’s People’s Square. Since then, the venture has expanded its operations quickly, to now boasts 200 outlets across ten Chinese cities including Beijing, Hangzhou and Chongqing.

Looking ahead, the venture is projecting sales of US$103 million for 2021 and plans to increase its store count to 2,750 by 2026. The value of Chinese listings in the U.S. has reached nearly U$13 billion this year, according to Refinitiv data.

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As a result, Beijing last month imposed new rules requiring Chinese ventures to obtain the approval of China’s cybersecurity watchdog before listing in the U.S.