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Maluji Eyes Sichuan-Spicy IPO In Hong Kong

Key Takeaways:  

  • Maluji’s business has boomed on the recent popularity of its hot-and-sour noodles, which generate millions of yuan in daily sales on short video site Douyin 
  • The company, which is reportedly eying a Hong Kong IPO, faces concerns over the safety of ingredients in its noodles 

By Lau Chi Hang

From divey noodle joints in hidden corners to grand establishments on busy streets, China’s restaurant scene is huge and quite diverse. Its low barriers to entry attract nearly anyone who can cook, creating a bloody battleground where only a handful of outlets can withstand the test of time. In such an intense environment, today’s toast of the town can often become tomorrow’s leftovers.

South Beauty was one such former flavor of the day, briefly enjoying its moment in the sun. But the bloom quickly fell from its rose, as founder Zhang Lan faced fundraising difficulties and got into a big dispute with one of its private equity investors. The chain’s business suffered with all the turbulence, and the former “beauty” quickly lost her allure.

But Zhang refused to give up, and eventually made a comeback with her latest chain, Maluji, serving up fiery Sichuan cuisine. Now, the chain may be looking to also spice up its finances with reports that it’s considering a Hong Kong IPO as early as next year. The company is currently talking with CMB International and Huatai Securities to sponsor the listing, according to the reports. Both banks and Maluji declined to comment. 

Recipe For Success 

Born in 1958, Zhang grew up in a rural, mountainous area in Central China, which she credits for her resilient and determined personality. In 1989, she travelled to Canada on her own and worked various jobs, including as a nanny and in a restaurant. She returned to Beijing in 1991 with $20,000 in savings, which she used to set up her first two restaurants whose average daily sales quickly reached the equivalent ...

Full story available on Benzinga.com


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