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Under the Radar: What remains of White pepper crab maker No Signboard after selling its trademark, and what is the firm doing to turn its business around?

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Most eateries and restaurants we eat at have a huge signboard at their entrances. But one seafood restaurant chain selling White Pepper Crab, however, doesn’t have
one. 

You can perhaps already guess who my guest for today is. Started in the 1970s as a humble seafood hawker stall at Mattar Road Hawker Centre selling homemade White Pepper Crab, our guest No Signboard Holdings now prides itself as a lifestyle F&B player in Singapore. 

The firm operates concepts such as No Signboard Seafood, Little Sheep Hot Pot and nosignboard Sheng Jian, and was listed on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Exchange in November 2017. It also has a beer business distributing beer brand Draft Denmark here in the lion city.

Why are we talking to No Signboard Holdings? Well, the company’s shares have been suspended since January 2022 after it was unable to prove that it can continue operations after the COVID-19 pandemic. Its beer business, Danish Breweries, was also put under voluntary creditors’ liquidation in March that year. 

To keep the No Signboard Holdings afloat, the firm signed a rescue deal with Gazelle Ventures in May 2022, where Gazelle Ventures would invest S$5 million in No Signboard. But that wasn’t the end of the story, with the firm seeing a series of legal issues relating to its leadership since that deal. 

After two tumultuous years for the seafood restaurant chain, the embattled F&B player got the nod from the Singapore Exchange Regulation to resume the trading of its shares on the 15th of March. But how does the firm intend to turn its business around? 

Meanwhile, No Signboard also said in March that it will sell its trademarks under a settlement agreement to its former executive chairman, Lim Yong Sim, former controlling shareholder GuGong and Mattar Road No Signboard Seafood Restaurant. 

But what will be left of No Signboard without its so-called ‘no signboard’ brand? And what value does No Signboard present for Gazelle Ventures, without its brand? Is this a case of backdoor listing for Gazelle Ventures?

On Under the Radar, The Evening Runway’s finance presenter Chua Tian Tian posed these questions to Lok Pei San, Chief Financial Officer, No Signboard Holdings.

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