Dusit Thani Public Company Limited (SET: DUSIT), one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, and PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited (SET: OR) by Modulus Venture, a wholly owned subsidiary of OR, a leading oil and retail company, have inked an agreement for OR to acquire a 25% stake in DUSIT’s food business subsidiary, Dusit Foods, as part of a joint vision to deliver a new growth engine that contributes to Thailand’s economic rise by fostering development of the food industry.
To achieve this, DUSIT aims to combine its strengths in upstream, midstream, and downstream food businesses with OR’s expertise in operating leading retail distribution channels – including almost 2,500 PTT Stations and over 4,000 Café Amazon outlets – to reach multiple lifestyle segments, help local food businesses expand domestically and internationally, and deliver sustainable value across the entire supply chain, both inside and outside of Thailand.
The investment agreement was officially signed at a special ceremony held recently at Baan Dusit Thani in Bangkok, where Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, DUSIT; Ms La-ead Kovavisaruch, Chief Investment Officer, DUSIT; Ms Jiraphon Kawswat, President and CEO, OR; and Mr Somyot Kongprawet, Senior Executive Vice President, Lifestyle Business, OR, were all on hand to mark the occasion.
“We are delighted and honoured to join hands with OR for this exciting, synergistic alliance that will leverage OR’s robust retail platform and retail expertise and our own extensive knowledge in upstream, midstream, and downstream food businesses to meet the needs of multiple lifestyle segments in Thailand and abroad,” said Ms Suthumpun. “At the same time, our companies both share the same clear vision to deliver a new growth engine that fosters growth of the food industry in Thailand and ultimately contributes to the country’s economic development. This includes working together with OR to create a new food platform that gives local businesses opportunities for domestic and international expansion, including extending their growth and revenue-generating prospects by working with OR as well as other thriving non-oil retail entities that OR has invested in previously, namely Café Amazon and the Ohkajhu health food brand. This shared vision makes our alliance even more powerful.”
Ms Suthumpun explained that, as part of its vision ‘to bring Asia to the world,’ Dusit Foods itself prioritises investing in food businesses that place importance on natural, organic, and good-for-health processes while also supporting local communities.
“As part of our company’s three-pronged strategy for balance, expansion, and diversification, we have invested in food businesses that are not only related to our core hotel business, but which also have high growth potential and cover the total supply chain. We expect all these food businesses to flourish under our alliance with OR, plus further opportunities to expand domestically and internationally.”
Dusit Foods’ investment portfolio currently includes Epicure Catering Co., Ltd., a leading provider of food and beverage services to the international school industry with a market share of over 70% in Thailand; The Caterers Joint Stock Company Limited, or ‘The Caterers,’ a leader in school catering and off-site receptions in Vietnam; and KAUAI, a popular healthy fast-casual restaurant chain from South Africa, which Dusit Foods brought to the Thai market and plans to expand across Asia.
Most recently, Dusit Foods concluded an agreement to acquire a 55% stake in Bonjour Bakery Asia Co., Ltd., which operates a state-of-the-art baking factory producing French-style pastry products in the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate, Rayong Province, and its associated bakery franchise business, comprising more than 50 branches across Thailand and one in China.
Speaking on behalf of OR at the signing ceremony, Ms Kawswat said that OR’s past, present, and future are fully embodied in its new vision, ‘Empowering All Toward Inclusive Growth.’ This vision includes identifying opportunities for inclusive growth and focusing on collaborations that strengthen businesses and help them to fulfil their potential. Ms Kawswat added that OR’s ultimate goal is to reach inclusive growth and success in all dimensions amidst the uncertain global economic environment.
“Our alliance with DUSIT through Dusit Foods will enhance the potential of OR’s lifestyle business, especially the food segment, which will benefit the outlets owned by OR and those we have co-invested in,” said Ms Kawswat. “One of OR’s missions is to create an alternative food business model that facilitates convenience and comprehensively meets all the lifestyle preferences of multigenerational consumers. Following our focus on Outside-In growth, which includes seeking investment opportunities with partners in new markets, this new model will also allow us to flourish with other Thai brands, locally and internationally.”
Ms Kawswat said that DUSIT’s business strategy aligns with OR’s goal for economic prosperity that aims to drive growth, offer career opportunities, and distribute wealth to partners and MSMEs by working directly with them.
“In expanding its business internationally, Dusit Foods aims to introduce ‘Thainess’ to the global arena, bringing benefits to both upstream and downstream food supply chains, as well as local communities, and we see huge potential for growth in this area,” said Ms Kawswat. “OR is now ready for businesses of all types and sizes to enter the OR ecosystem, and we’re primed to transform into an Inclusive Growth Platform that combines business models and innovation to address problems faced by people, society, and the environment to have a positive, meaningful impact overall.”