Malaysia’s largest manufacturer of chewy candy products appoints Wellspire to expand in Thailand

WELLSPIRE Holdings Bhd, a distributor of consumer-packaged foods in Thailand, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Wellspire Global Trading, has recently inked a strategic cooperation agreement with a subsidiary of fellow Bursa Malaysia-listed candy manufacturer Khee San Bhd.

Under the agreement, Wellspire will become the sole and exclusive distributor in Thailand for Khee San Food Industries Sdn Bhd. As a start, Wellspire will distribute, import, export, sell and re-sell Khee San products, namely Fruit Plus and Kiss Me.

This strategic cooperation with Khee San is part of Wellspire’s plans to cooperate with local companies to penetrate the Thai market via the Wellspire group’s well-established distribution channels in the Kingdom.

The partnership with Khee San will combine the Wellspire group’s leading infrastructure, distribution channels and marketing expertise in Thailand with Khee San’s well-established manufacturing and packaging capabilities in the mass market consumer food and snacks manufacturing industry.

The agreement is valid from Aug 23, 2023 to Aug 22, 2026 for a period of three years.

This key collaboration is also anticipated to leverage on the respective strengths and market footholds of both companies to open up lucrative new revenue streams in untapped markets while complementing Wellspire’s existing range of products to offer Thai consumers even more choices.

As such, Wellspire will also be in a strong position to further capitalise on the growth in online shopping and e-commerce sales while enhancing its product mix and serving more segments of market demand in Thailand.

Likewise, partnering with Wellspire will allow Khee San to rapidly expand its access and footprint within the Thai snack food market, thus putting it in a strong position for future revenue growth and market diversification.

Wellspire Holdings Bhd CEO and executive director Mo Guopiao (seated left) and Khee San Bhd CEO Edward Tan Juan Peng (seated right)

According to Statista, the revenue value of Thai snack food market which has exceeded US$1 bil in 2023 is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.16% during the period of 2023-2028, growing from US$1.07 bil in 2023 to over US$1.54 bil by 2028.

“This cooperation marks an important milestone for us. It reflects Khee San’s trust and confidence in our unparallel distribution capabilities that also include major supermarkets and chain convenience store brands in Thailand,” commented Wellspire’s CEO and executive director Mo Guopiao.

“Furthermore, this re-affirms our role in facilitating the expansion of Malaysian-made products in the overseas market while strengthening our position as one of the key distributors in the region.”

Meanwhile, Khee San’s CEO Edward Tan Juan Peng looks forward to working with Wellspire to introduce the group’s market-leading products into Thailand where revenue for the confectionery market is expected to grow annually by more than 6.05%.

“Our expansion into Thailand is also a showcase of our commitment to drive business growth by tapping into opportunities across the region while continuously improving our existing products as well as introducing new line-ups so as to generate sustainable value creation for our shareholders and stakeholders,” he added.

For the past few months, Wellspire has secured multiple new and renewed existing partnerships with international brands like QiaQia for ChaCha sunflower seeds, Weilong for Weilong Big Hot Stick (Latiao) and Weilong Konjac Shuang as well as Cundo chocolate-based cakes.

At the close of today’s market trading, Wellspire was unchanged at 77 sen with 3.31 million shares traded, thus valuing the company at RM548 mil while Khee San was 0.5 sen or 3.7% lower at 13 sen with 10,000 shares exchanged hands, hence giving the company a market capitalisation of RM18 mil. – Aug 28, 2023

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