Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Jollibee acquires restaurant chain China

Neil Jerome C. Morales

HOMEGROWN FASTFOOD giant Jollibee Foods Corp. has bought a majority stake into a Chinese-based restaurant chain for about $43 million, the firm told the stock exchange on Tuesday.

"Jollibee Foods, through its wholly owned subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. signed an agreement to enter into a joint venture with Guangxi Zong Kai Food and Beverage Investment Co., Ltd.," the fastfood service firm said in a statement.

Under the deal signed on April 30, Jollibee will spend 30 million renminbi (about $4.395 million) to take a 55% stake in Chinese restaurant chain San Ping Wang. Jollibee Foods and Guangxi Zong Kai will also spend 20 million renminbi (about $2.93 million) to expand the restaurant business.

"Together with the people from Jollibee Group of Companies, I believe that we will be able to grow San Pin Wang to a very large and successful fastfood chain in China," Jollibee Foods Chairman and Chief Executive Tony Tan Caktiong said in the statement.

San Ping Wang has 34 stores in China that are expected to record 100 million renminbi (about $14.653 million) in revenues this year.

The Jollibee group operates the largest quick-service restaurant network in the Philippines with a total of 1,557 stores in the country.

There are 686 Jollibee stores nationwide, 399 Chowking Chinese restaurants, 226 Greenwich pizza houses, 207 Red Ribbon bakeries, and 24 Delifrance outlets. There are also 15 Manong Pepe restaurants.

Jollibee Foods also has 325 stores abroad, including the United States, Vietnam, and China.

Shares in Jollibee Foods, which recorded a 14.6% rise in net income to P2.66 billion last year, closed at P58.50 each on Friday.

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