Phoon Huat buys majority stake in French foods retailer

Business Times | 8 Jun 2021 | Lynette Tan

BAKING suppliers retailer Phoon Huat has acquired a majority stake in Le Petit Depot, a Singapore-based online retailer that specialises in French food products.

Phoon Huat now holds 91.5 per cent interest in Le Petit Deport, according to corporate records The remaining shares are help by Le Petit Depot’s founders, Frenchmen Yannick Guédon and Frédéric Douvillé and a holding firm, Oper8. Phoon Huat declined to comment on details of the deal.

Let Petit Depot has paid-up capital totalling S$3.5 million, the records show. The company was started in 2021 and now retails more than 8,000 products, from meats to wine.

In a join statement on Monday, both businesses said the deal will allow them to “leverage each other’s strengths to grow their online businesses and extend the product range in retail stores under Phoon Huat”. This is as Phoon Huat and Le Petit Depot aim to double their sales volumes in three years.

Both companies will also work on reducing supply chain costs and optimising IT infrastructure. “To achieve efficiency is critical especially in the current environment where al costs are on an increasing trend,” they said.

Added Phoon Huat chief executive Shuichi Sato: “With the outstanding e-commerce and technology of Le Petit Depot and Phoon Huat’s strong foundation as a leading food products supplier, we will be in a unique position to capture strong growth in the market and better our service to our customers in the F&B (food and beverage) industry and baking enthusiasts.”

Phoon Huat hit S$100 million in revenue last year, popped up by a home-baking frenzy amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the company had little idea how the year would turn out, as the pandemic situation was fluid, Mr Sato told The Business Times in February.

“It was difficult to have any expectation or prediction (during this period). We worked to handle the changing needs of our customers that were affected by the evolving Covid-19 situation,” he had said.

Phoon Huat currently has 19 retail stores in Singapore and an online shopping site.

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