Thursday, 6 May 2010

Jollibee enters coffee, gelato business via P10-million joint venture deal

Neil Jerome C. Morales

HOMEGROWN FASTFOOD giant Jollibee Foods Corp. has signed a partnership with a local entrepreneur to mark the food service firm’s entry into the coffee and gelato business.

“The joint venture will become the master franchisee in the Philippines of Caffe Ti-Amo, a Korean restaurant brand offering coffee and gelato in a casual dining format,” the company told the local bourse on Wednesday.

Under the deal, Jollibee Foods and partner Pamela Tan and siblings, which are not related to controlling stakeholders in the fastfood firm, will equally own the brand and invest P10 million as initial capital.
Ms. Tan is the master franchisee of Caffe Ti-Amo Korea Co., Ltd. in the Philippines.

Caffe Ti-Amo was put up in Korea in 2006, expanding to 269 stores after four years in operation.

“The joint venture plans to open in the Philippines, mostly franchised stores and a few joint venture-owned stores. The first store is in The Annex at SM North Edsa,” Jollibee Foods said. Additional stores will be put up in other major malls, it added.

The announcement came less than a week after Jollibee Foods, through its wholly owned subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd., signed an agreement to buy a 55% stake in China-based noodle chain San Pin Wang from Guangxi Zong Kai Food and Beverage Investment Co., Ltd. for $4.3 million.

Jollibee Foods and Guangxi Zong Kai will also spend 20 million renminbi (about $2.93 million) to expand the current 34 stores in China, which are expected to earn 100 million renminbi (about $14.653 million) this year.

The Jollibee group operates the largest quick-service restaurant network in the Philippines with a total of 1,569 stores in the country as of end-March. That month, Jollibee also opened its fifth store in Saudi Arabia.

There are 692 Jollibee stores nationwide, 401 Chowking Chinese restaurants, 227 Greenwich pizza houses, 211 Red Ribbon bakeries, 24 Delifrance outlets and 14 Manong Pepe restaurants.

Jollibee also has 334 stores abroad: 165 Yonghe King outlets in China; 55 Jollibee stores, mostly in the United States, Vietnam and Brunei; 35 Red Ribbon branches in the US; 33 Chowking outlets in Dubai and the US; and 46 Hong Zhuang Yuan branches.

The firm said it had 1,903 stores worldwide.

Shares in Jollibee Foods, which recorded a 14.6% rise in net income to P2.66 billion last year, were unchanged yesterday at P57.50 each.

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