Vesta

Region

East Asia

Country

China

Deal type

Buyout

Investment date

2011

Exit date

2013

Status date

Realised

The king of the kitchen 

Vesta designs and manufactures kitchen equipment for Western-style food. Its product lines include fryers, griddles, ovens, combination steamers and dishwashers for use in restaurants, hotels and food service providers.

Vesta is a leading Chinese catering equipment manufacturer, with roughly 8% domestic market share and the largest exporter from China, selling to the US, Europe and other major markets. It is the most recognised kitchen equipment brand.

Actis became aware of commercial kitchen equipment as a fast-growing niche sector when it invested in popular hot-pot chain Xiabu Xiabu in 2008. Given China’s growing appetite for eating out, Actis saw the potential of Vesta. After 18 years at the helm of the company, the founder was ready to move on.

In May 2011, Actis bought a majority stake in the company. Actis was able to improve the business on a number of levels. An Actis Director, focused on post-acquisition operational value-add, joined Vesta as an Interim CEO, facilitating the smooth transition from a family business to a modern enterprise. By leveraging Actis’ network and specialisation in the food and beverage industry, Vesta recruited a new senior management team – all with backgrounds in multinational companies. Actis also appointed a new board, with a strong independent director who could provide customer insight. We helped Vesta improve its distribution channels and more effectively promote Vesta’s products in the marketplace. Actis introduced Vesta to Beijing restaurant chain Bellagio, another company in the Actis portfolio and the two businesses are now working together.

Actis sold Vesta to a US strategic player– Illinois Tool Works Inc. (‘ITW’, US-listed) in the middle of 2013 for a significant return.