Noodle chain operator’s IPO plan fast heating up

Rice noodle chain operator Tam Jai International is expected to undergo a listing hearing early next month as it sets its eyes on raising US$100 million (HK$780 million).

The company runs 144 restaurants – 72 TamJai and 72 SamGor, which are both popular among youngsters – across Hong Kong. It also operates a TamJai restaurant in Shenzhen and three SamGor restaurants in Singapore.

It had 107 restaurants as of the end of March 2019.

The brand’s history dates back to 1996 when brothers Tam Chak-kwan and Tam Chak-keung and Chow Chi-ming – the husband of their sister – opened the first TamJai restaurant, selling Yunnan rice noodles with Sichuan spicy soup base in Cheung Sha Wan.

It was acquired by Japan-based Toridoll Holding in 2017.

The company’s profit grew 32.57 percent year-on-year to HK$231.57 million for the nine months ended December 31 last year.

If the government subsidy and rent concession were not included in other revenue, net profit for the period would have amounted to HK$93 million, down 46.8 percent on-year.

Inspired by southwestern Chinese cuisine, Tam jai offers a variety of toppings, soup bases as well as 10 levels of spiciness, from which diners can choose freely to customize to individual tastes with a countless mix, attracting them to visit the chain regularly.

Among them, Tam Jai’s signature soup bases, such as spicy and numbing mala soup and clear soup, and the signature dishes, such as tufei chicken wings, have become customer favorites, the company says in the prospectus. Despite having some overlap in its soup bases, dishes, and toppings, each brand provides its own signature.

For example, TamJai exclusively serves Hunan sour and spicy soup, tofu in Sichuan style, and time-limited offers including crisp grass carp mixian in papaya and fish soup, while wula soup with charred pepper and spices, roasted eggplant with garlic and time-limited mixian with duck blood in SamGor spicy broth are only available in SamGor restaurants.

Separately, mainland tea chain Guming is expected to go public in Hong Kong as early as next year to raise US$300 million to US$500 million.

Beijing Evercare Medical Technology is reportedly planning a Hong Kong share sale to raise approximately US$300 million.

The mainland aesthetic hospital group filed the listing application in early August, with its sole sponsor being Haitong International.

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