The leading domestic hotpot restaurant chain, Little Sheep Group, is losing its dominance in the sector as customer interest dwindles and outlets shut down, a former senior employee said Thursday [7 January 2016], adding that the slide reflects the slowing growth of the industry and the consolidation of the company. The employee, who declined to be identified, told the Global Times that, “Little Sheep had great success in its early years. The turning point came in 2012 when it was acquired by Yum.”…Full Article: The Global Times Jan 2016

Key Points

  • As of 2015, Little Sheep has 202 restaurant outlets. Meanwhile, Xiao Wei Yang hotpot, a hotpot restaurant chain from Baotou and competitor of Little Sheep, reportedly has more than 600 outlets.
  • In February 2012, Yum Brands Inc acquired Little Sheep and delisted the restaurant chain from the Hong Kong Stock exchange.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In March 2009, 3i Group divests its 11.32% stake in Little Sheep to Yum! Brands Inc. (e.g. KFC, Pizza Hut).
  • In June 2008, Little Sheep went public in Hong Kong in 2008, valued slightly above US$420 million
  • In June 2006, 3i Group (London-based private equity firm) invests a $20 million in Little Sheep.
  • Founded in 1999 in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Little Sheep is a hot pot restaurant chain. The company also deals in Little Sheep seasonings, processing and marketing of special meat products.

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