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Actis exits China’s Vesta

Pan-emerging markets private equity firm Actis has sold its 70 per cent stake in Vesta, a commercial kitchen equipment maker in China, to Illinois Tool Works (ITW). 

Vesta is the largest designer and maker of Western style, mid-range commercial kitchen equipment in China with its flagship brand, Justa, now one of the most influential equipment brands in China. The sector’s growth is underpinned by the rising trend of dining out in China and a growing appetite for Western-style cuisine.
Actis invested in Vesta in May 2011. It oversaw the recruitment of a new senior executive team, corporate governance was strengthened with the introduction of stringent auditing by Deloitte, and health and safety became a top priority in the company’s culture.
Dong Zhong, partner and head of China, at Actis, says: “The Chinese consumer food service industry is a high-growth sector, with rising disposable income and urbanisation leading more and more people through the doors of local restaurants. Western-style cuisine, seen by many as aspirational and adventurous, is proving particularly popular among the growing middle class. We saw an opportunity to help Vesta capitalise on this trend and have been delighted with the growth we’ve been able to help the company achieve.”
Peter Leung, chief executive at Vesta, says: “We are very grateful for the support and guidance Actis has shown Vesta. Their deep knowledge of the Chinese consumer and the country’s restaurant sector were instrumental in helping shape the strong brand and sales book the company has today. The management team look forward to working with ITW as we take the next step in our growth.”

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