SINGAPORE — NTUC Enterprise is set to buy over home-grown food centre operator Kopitiam by the end of the year for an undisclosed sum, the two entities announced on Friday (Sept 21).
The sale to NTUC Enterprise, subject to regulatory approval and other conditions, will bring Kopitiam’s 80 establishments including food courts and hawker centres, under its fold.
NTUC Enterprise — the largest shareholder of the labour movement’s social enterprises — declined to disclose the value of the deal.
After the takeover, NTUC Foodfare — which is overseen by NTUC Enterprise and has 33 food centres — and Kopitiam will continue to operate separately, with “their respective management teams and employees remaining in place”.
“Customers, employees, stall tenants and other stakeholders can be assured that business will continue as usual. Meanwhile, both entities will work together to leverage mutual capabilities and seek out common opportunities for synergies, including the use of technologies,” the two organisations said.
The transaction is part of “NTUC Enterprise’s social mission to ensure that cooked food remains affordable and accessible to the Singapore community,” NTUC Enterprise and Kopitiam said.
Right now, to keep costs low for consumers, NTUC Foodfare’s outlets offer budget meals.
Each stall at its coffee shops offers such meals from S$2. At its Bukit Panjang, Kampung Admiralty and Pasir Ris Central hawker centres, these meals start from S$2.80.
The only exception is the food courts that it runs, which do not offer budget meals. Instead, union members can buy “value meals” with savings of up to 15 per cent.
Asked if these arrangements would be expanded to Kopitiam food centres after the sale, a spokesperson for NTUC Enterprise said that it does not have the specifics of the initiatives that may be rolled out, as the transaction has not been completed.
“We are exploring ways to extend some of our existing initiatives, such as increasing the number of Rice Garden stalls at various consumer touchpoints,” she said, referring to NTUC Foodfare’s social-outreach programme offering affordable and nutritious meals from S$1.50 to lower-income consumers, among other groups.