Thursday, 22 December 2011

Jollibee Buying Into Restaurant Chain
$60-M Investment
Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Jollibee Foods Corporation, through wholly-owned Singapore unit JSF Investments Pte. Ltd., has formally initiated its plan to invest $60 million in the southeast Asian restaurant business of the SuperFoods Group.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Jollibee said it is acquiring a 50 percent stake in the business of the SuperFoods Group consisting of a 49 percent share in SF Vung Tau Joint Stock Company of Vietnam and a 60 percent interest in Blue Sky Holdings Limited of Hong Kong.

The SuperFoods Group owns and operates various brands, including Highlands Coffee Shops in Vietnam, Highlands Coffee Packaged Products, and Hard Rock Café franchised stores in Macau, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Very recently, the SuperFoods Group also acquired the Pho 24 brand and restaurants which have presence in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Japan. The annual sales of the SuperFoods Group amount to about $30 million.

Highlands Coffee serves Vietnamese coffee and light meals in trendy coffee shops and sells packaged coffee through retail outlets. Pho 24 serves traditional Vietnamese dishes with rice noodles as its core product.

Jollibee and its prospective partner Viet Thai International Joint Stock Company (VTI) aims to offer Asian mass consumers high quality coffee and café experience at affordable prices through Highlands Coffee Shops and Highlands Packaged Products.

They also aim to serve the Asian mass consumers high quality Vietnamese food at affordable prices through the Pho 24 brand and restaurants.

Jollibee also plans to serve Highlands Coffee in the restaurants of its various brands in order to upgrade the quality of its coffee at prices its consumers can afford.

Currently, Highlands has 54 stores in Vietnam while Pho 24 has 48 restaurants in Vietnam, 11 in Indonesia, 4 in Hong Kong, 3 in Tokyo, Japan, 1 in Cambodia and 2 in the Philippines.

In the Philippines, franchising rights for operating Highlands Coffee Shops was granted to IP Ventures.

The subscription to 50 percent of the business of SuperFoods will be an implementation of an earlier agreement under which Jollibee will invest $25 million for half of the SuperFoods business and a $35 million loan to VTI. It also advanced $5 million to SuperFoods. (JAL)

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