Centurium Capital Gains Control of Chinese Beverage Firm Luckin Coffee

A consortium led by Centurium Capital, a Beijing-based investment company, now owns more than 50% of domestic beverage chain Luckin Coffee, which was previously plagued by a series of scandals, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday.

Luckin Coffee representatives stated that they believe this share transfer transaction is in the best long-term interests of the company.

Centurium Capital said that it is committed to supporting Luckin Coffee in establishing a sustainable business model, a strong and transparent governance system and a responsible management structure.

The sellers are Primus Investment Fund, L.P., Haode Investment Inc. and Summer Fame Limited, all three of which are in the process of official liquidation.

The buyers recently acquired shares owned by former Luckin Chairman Charles Lu and former CEO Jenny Qian. Lu and Qian lost control of the shares in the summer of 2020 after the former chairman defaulted on a $533 million margin loan from a bank through which the shares were promised. A court in the British Virgin Islands has appointed KPMG as a liquidator of assets.

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In addition to Centurium Capital, the buyers also include investment companies IDG Capital and Ares SSG Capital Management. The former’s investment cases in the food and drink field include HeyTea, Quanjude, Three Squirrels, Lepur and so on. The latter is a subsidiary of Ares Management Corporation, whose global asset management scale exceeded $282 billion.