SINGAPORE: NTUC Enterprise is set to acquire homegrown food court operator Kopitiam Investment and its subsidiaries by the end of the year, the two parties announced in a joint press release on Friday (Sep 21).
The deal will bring Kopitiam's 80 outlets islandwide, including the Lau Pa Sat Festival Market, under the NTUC umbrella.
NTUC Enterprise oversees NTUC Foodfare, which operates 33 food establishments with the promise of "serving working people and their families by stabilising cooked food prices and helping them improve their quality of life", according to its website.
Among its initiatives are budget meals for lower-wage workers starting from S$2 at coffee shops and S$2.80 at selected hawker centres.
NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam will continue to operate as separate entities, with their respective management teams and workers, after the deal is completed. Kopitiam will also retain its name.
"Customers, employees, stall tenants and other stakeholders can be assured that business will continue as usual," the joint statement said.
There are no plans too for changes to be made to existing customer loyalty programmes at this point, NTUC Enterprise said in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.
This means that consumers will be able to continue to use Kopitiam’s stored-value cards at all Kopitiam outlets following the deal.
NTUC Foodfare apps and Union membership cards can still be used at NTUC Foodfare outlets, where applicable, the spokesperson said.
The deal, instead, will see both NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam "work together to leverage mutual capabilities and seek out common opportunities for synergies, including the use of technologies", it added.
Mr Kee Teck Koon, executive director of NTUC Enterprise, noted that Kopitiam and NTUC Foodfare share the common objective of offering affordable and accessible food.
"We will leverage our combined strengths to contribute to improving the vibrancy and resiliency of this daily essential sector in Singapore, with the ultimate goal of creating better experiences for our customers, and opportunities for our employees and other stakeholders,” he said.
Kopitiam chairman Lim Bee Huat said he is confident that NTUC Enterprise will bring Kopitiam to "new heights" in terms of serving the community.
“Kopitiam started from humble beginnings and we have built the brand into a successful household name," said Mr Lim. "Today, our customers enjoy a good selection of cuisine at affordable prices.
"NTUC Enterprise and Kopitiam are both committed to protecting the interests of our customers and the livelihood of our stall tenants. We are confident that NTUC Enterprise will bring Kopitiam to new heights in serving our community."