Sector: Consumer goods
Country: China
Entry: Mar 2010
Exit: Dec 2016

Japan Home Centre is the leading mass market housewares retail chain in Hong Kong with a growing pan-Asian presence

EQT Greater China II acquired a 40% stake in Japan Home Centre from the two founders in 2010.

By 2013, Japan Home Centre has become the leading player in discount housewares in Hong Kong, with a leading store network. Sales and EBITDA have achieved annual growth of 17% and 25%, respectively.

In 2013, Japan Home Centre was listed —on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as International Housewares Retail Company Limited, with strong interest from investors and more than 145x over-subscription in the Hong Kong public offering. EQT Greater China II sold a combined 9% stake at the IPO.

In 2014, EQT Greater China II sold down a further 16% stake through an overnight accelerated secondary share placement.

By 2015, the number of directly-operated stores increased from around 200 in Hong Kong only to 357 stores across 5 jurisdictions.

In 2016, EQT Greater China II divested the remaining 5% stake through a public market sell-down.

Throughout its ownership, EQT Greater China II supported management in implementing operational excellence across its store portfolios, increased directly sourced products to enhance margins, and formulated development plan and strategies for new markets through acquisitions, joint ventures and organic growth.

To Japan Home Centre

Key events during EQT's ownership

  • Engaged a retail consultant to re-profile the stores and adjust the product mix, resulting in accelerated same-store-sales growth

  • Increased the proportion of private label and internationally-sourced products to enhance competitiveness and increase margins

  • Augmented existing management team by introducing experienced COO and board of directors

  • Created an overseas expansion roadmap and acquired a leading houseware chain in Singapore

  • Implemented other growth initiatives such as stock loss control, refinement of staff incentive plans and IT systems upgrade