Old Town White Coffee

July 27, 2020

Old Town White Coffee (OldTown) was co-founded by two friends, Goh Ching Mun (from the family business of Nam Heong Coffee Shop in Ipoh, Perak) and Tan Say Yap, who had been in the coffee-manufacturing business for about 20 years. Goh and Tan recruited Lee Siew Yee who was working with a garment manufacturing and trading company before he joined OldTown. Lee is the man behind the rebranding of the OldTown business and expanding it internationally while Goh and Tan worked behind the scenes to formulate the blend of white coffee that made the OldTown brand famous.

The OldTown Group is principally engaged in three major business activities: I) operation of its own café chain outlets, franchised café outlets and food processing, ii) manufacturing of coffee and other beverages (instant coffee mix, roasted coffee powder, instant milk tea mix and instant chocolate) iii) and the marketing and sale of coffee and other beverages.

In December 2017 Dutch owned Jacobs Douwe Egberts Holdings Asia NL B.V. (JDE) made a cash offer to buy all the issued ordinary shares of OldTown at RM3.18 per share at a total price of approximately RM1.47 billion. This was probably one of the most amazing exit for the shareholders of a Malaysian franchise business. At that time OldTown operated a total of 232 café outlets comprising 189 in Malaysia, 9 in Singapore, 27 in Indonesia, 1 in Australia, 3 in China, 1 in Hong Kong and 2 in Myanmar. The JDE Group has a heritage that goes back to 1753 in the Netherlands. Its portfolio of 63 global brands besides Douwe Egberts and Jacobs, includes Maxwell House, Moccona, Maxim, Kenco, Tassimo, Pilao. Café Pele, Maison du Café, etc.  

Malaysians should note that in June 2017, JDE completed the acquisition of Singapore’s Super Group Ltd which pioneered the 3-in-1 coffee concept in Singapore for S$1.45 billion. Founder of 30 year old Super Group, David Teo Kee Bock and family no doubt exited in pure delight. The Super Group was founded in 1987 and at the time of sale operated 15 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities for non-dairy creamer, instant soluble coffee powder and cereal flakes in Singapore, Malaysia, China Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Read more

  1. Old Town White Coffee. Our Legacy. http://www.oldtown.com.my/about/business-overview/
  2. JDE. 11 December 2017. https://www.jacobsdouweegberts.com/company-news/pre-conditional-cash-offer-for-shares-in-oldtown-berhad-by-jacobs-douwe-egberts-holdings-asia-nl.-b.v/
  3. Our Brands. https://www.jacobsdouweegberts.com/brands/
  4. JDE. 6 June 2017. JDE Completes the Acquisition of Super Group Ltd. https://www.jacobsdouweegberts.com/company-news/jde-welcomes-super-group/