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Louis Vuitton rescues Jones the Grocer brand

Louis Vuitton’s private equity arm L Capital Asia has bought the remains of collapsed Singapore gourmet food retailer Jones the Grocer.

The upmarket grocery store was originally founded in Australia, but collapsed last year. It has retail outlets on Dempsey Hill and in Mandarin Gallery.

L Capital Asia had taken a 63 per cent stake in the Singapore arm of the business, Jones the Grocer International, (JTGI), three years ago, believing the brand and concept had strong potential in Asia. But it was placed under judicial management in December.

The Singapore Business Times reported the company had debts of $15 million and a bank balance of $61,000 at the time.

Fresh Bay Investments, a subsidiary of L Capital Asia, has paid S$2.75 million for the brand rights and other assets of the business, but not the debt, potentially angering some suppliers. Singapore news media report L Capital has already acquired the global brand rights from the Australian company which it also has a majority stake in.

Besides its original investment, and last week’s $2.75 million for the shell, Fresh Bay has reportedly ploughed a further $17 million into keeping the business afloat until now.

L Capital Asia managing partner Ravi Thakran told AsiaOne Business that his company knew the Jones the Grocer business best and was therefore the best choice to rebuild the brand.

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