Philippines’ Monde Nissin CEO Bets Family Fortune To Support Loss-Making Alternative Meats Unit

Monde Nissin CEO Henry Soesanto said this week that he and his family—the company’s controlling shareholder group—are pledging part of their fortune to support the instant noodle maker’s Quorn alternative meats business, whose mounting losses have already sparked a massive write-down this year.

Under the plan, the Indonesian tycoon and his family are backstopping additional impairment charges at the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Monde Nissin Singapore, which owns Quorn. The cash settlement will be capped at up to 12% of the value of Monde Nissin’s 2.2 billion outstanding shares over the next 10 years.

“This financial support by myself and the family shareholders comes after listening to and reflecting on the concerns that some of our shareholders have expressed about the current challenges in the meat alternative category which are impacting our business in the United Kingdom,” Soesanto said in a statement.

Monde Nissin—the maker of popular Philippine instant noodle brand Lucky Me!—bought U.K.-based Quorn in 2015 for 550 million pounds ($914 million) and has since expanded the brand into the U.S. and Asia. Amid challenging market conditions, with inflationary headwinds weighing on consumer spending, Monde Nissin booked an impairment charge on Quorn amounting to 20.5 billion pesos ($366 million) in April this year.

“Despite our long-term view that the category has a bright future, we cannot ignore the headwinds we are facing,” Soesanto said. “We have previously announced significant operational and strategic changes and now we wish to extend this significant personal financial support to help alleviate investors’ concern while we navigate through the current macroeconomic environment.”

Soesanto and his family—which includes Monde Nissin president and cofounder Betty Ang and chairman Hartono Kweefanus—have a combined net worth of over $2 billion largely on the value of their controlling interest in the company, according to Forbes’ data. Ang cofounded Monde Nissin in 1979 with her late father-in-law, Hidajat Darmono, as a biscuit maker, before diversifying into instant noodles in the late 1980s. Soesanto is married to Darmono’s daughter, Monica, the company’s treasurer.

Notwithstanding the losses at Quorn, Monde Nissin’s net profit climbed 41% to 2.2 billion pesos from the previous year, bolstered by robust demand for its instant noodles.

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