| China

Tim Hortons China merger could be valued at $1.8bn

A merger between Tim Hortons China and Silver Crest Acquisition Corp could reportedly pave the way for an IPO valuing the new entity at $1.8bn

In March 2021 Tim Hortons attained investment to open more than 200 new stores in China | Photo credit: Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons China could merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Silver Crest Acquisition to create a new entity valued at up to $1.8bn, according to a Bloomberg report.
SPAC companies, also known as ‘blank cheque companies’, typically have no commercial operations and are formed solely to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO). Silver Crest Acquisition is backed by private equity investment firm, Ascendent Capital Partners, which focuses on ‘Greater China-related investment opportunities’ according to its website.
Details of the potential merger, which is reportedly in the final stages of completion, emerged from sources close to the matter, according to Bloomberg. However, none of the companies involved have publicly commented on the matter.
Tim Hortons China was formed in 2018 as part of a joint venture agreement between a subsidiary the Canadian coffee chain’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International (RBI), and private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group.
In March 2021, Tim Hortons China announced it had raised an undisclosed sum from investors Sequoia Capital China, Tencent Holdings and Eastern Bell Capital, to fund the opening of more than 200 new coffee shops in China.
Tim Hortons entered the Chinese coffee shop market more than two years ago and currently operates around 150 stores across the country. The Canadian coffee chain lags behind international rivals, such as Chinese market leader, Starbucks, which operates more than 2,400 stores, McCafé ’s 900+ sites and Coca-Cola-owned Costa Coffee’s nearly 500-store Chinese portfolio.
Tim Horton’s describes its Chinese stores as ‘profitable’, but remains some way off a 10-year goal to open 1,500 stores announced in 2018.
2021 has seen Tim Hortons ramp up its international expansion efforts. In January, the coffee chain announced it would open a new Middle East headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and is reportedly seeking to open more stores across Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman, in addition to India and Egypt.
Reporting its second quarter results in August 2021, RBI said Tim Hortons now operates 5,065 stores globally, a 2.7% increase on the same period in 2020. Approximately 96% of RBI’s Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes sites worldwide were open for business as of 30 June 2021, including 97% of North American sites, compared to 81% of sites worldwide being operational in 2020.

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