Little Sheep Case study Essay examples

Words: 5927
Pages: 24

3i Group plc and Little Sheep*
Lily Fang

Roger Leeds


School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

“Many people grow a company like raising a pig. The pig gets fat, you kill it and make money. I grow my company like raising a son. The average life of a restaurant is less than three years in China. I want Little Sheep to last a century.”
– Zhang Gang, Founder, Little Sheep Catering Chain Co.
“Helping a great business to realize its potential takes a lot more than just capital. It is ultimately about the people, thus your relationship with the management team and the sort of support you can provide, such as introductions to key industry expertise and relevant operational best practice, is very
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The Global Economic Impact of Private Equity Report 2008

Case studies: 3i Group plc and Little Sheep 131

executives and industry experts whom 3i regularly calls upon to assist the deal team at various stages of the investment process, from due diligence to post‑investment operational support. While many private equity groups rely upon industry experts, 3i’s People Programmes is unique in its scale and
20‑year history of building an enviable rolodex. Chris
Rowlands, 3i’s managing director for Asia explained: “At 3i, this is not a nice‑to‑have, or an afterthought. This is at the heart of our investment model.”
The second distinctive 3i programme, the Business
Development Practice, is a dedicated resource to help 3i’s portfolio companies expand their operations internationally.
Initially this grew out of a demand from European firms wanting to gain entry to Asia, but the team is increasingly working with Asian firms seeking to tap into the European and US markets and Rowlands believes it “is not only a service for our portfolio companies, but we believe it directly increases our investment value as well”.
Inner Mongolia Little Sheep Catering
Chain Co. Ltd
Entrepreneurial beginnings
In 1999, an entrepreneur called Zhang Gang founded Little
Sheep Catering Chain Co. in Inner Mongolia, one of the most remote and