Private investor Tanncam breaks into hospitality sector

Sangeetha Amarthalingam

Cambodia-registered Tanncam Investment Co Ltd has diversified into the food and beverage sector via a 65 percent stake in Vibe Cafe Hospitality Co Ltd, a health food restaurant operator and wholesale distributor, and restaurants Vibe Cafe and Backyard Cafe, respectively.

Cambodia-registered Tanncam Investment Co Ltd has diversified into the food and beverage sector via a 65 percent stake in Vibe Cafe Hospitality Co Ltd, a health food restaurant operator and wholesale distributor, and restaurants Vibe Cafe and Backyard Cafe, respectively.

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The angel investment defines its interest in one of Cambodia’s leading vegan and health food eateries.

Vibe Cafe Hospitality is a wholesale distributor of proprietary products, rejuvenating cleansers and lunchboxes, and created unique health food and vegan recipes that are available in group founder Emma Fountain’s cookbook on Amazon.com.

Set up in 2016, Tanncam, an Uzbeki investment firm, is involved in healthcare where it owns an undisclosed shareholding valued at $18.5 million in Indian healthcare e-commerce portal Netmeds Marketplace Ltd that facilitates orders for drugs and medicines.

In March last year, Tanncam invested $3 million in Singapore-based Verita Healthcare Group Ltd which includes $800,000 subscription to Verita’s convertible bonds.

Tanncam’s recent investment was facilitated by Cambodian Investment Management Co Ltd (CIM), acting as the sole arranger and financial adviser on the transaction, which concluded on June 9. Tanncam owns 30 percent interest in CIM.

Vibe Cafe Hospitality founder Fountain will retain 31 percent ownership and continue as its chief executive officer. The remaining four percent stake is possessed by corporate finance and business consultancy CIM CEO Galliano and a private investor.

As part of the agreement, Tanncam will inject additional capital into Vibe Cafe Hospitality to accelerate the franchising under the opportunity. The franchise and restaurant consulting business is handled by its Singapore company, Vibe Cafes International Pte Ltd.

In a statement, Fountain says the global health food industry is booming as people are adopting healthy eating habits.

“It is not only for body and mind wellness, weight control, and for a better nutritional diet but to live longer and to avoid chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer,” she adds.

Fountain says the presence of the Vibe Cafe, a vegan restaurant located in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and health food shop Backyard Cafe in Phnom Penh, has incubated and developed an incredibly successful health food business in Cambodia with attractive payback periods, loyal customers, and robust financial returns.

“With Tanncam ’s support, we have a fantastic opportunity to expand the model globally through franchising,” she adds.

On the investment, Galliano says that health and vegan food is a trillion-dollar industry, which no longer falls under a niche market segment.

It is a movement that is just getting started, growing rapidly, and gaining extensive acceptance, he adds.

“The group will distribute its healthy foods through retail supermarket channels and expand its restaurant outlets globally, capitalising on this trend,” he adds.

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