Jollibee to expand restaurant brands

Steadily globalising Philippine Jollibee Foods is to acquire 50 per cent of the SuperFoods group in a move expanding its restaurant and cafe interests beyond its core brand.

The acquisition will cost Jollibee US$25 million.

Agreement on the legal basis of the framework was reached last May with the deal now resting on traditional conditions. In a joint venture with SuperFoods, JFC will offer a $35 million loan to another partner in the framework, Viet Thai International Joint Stock Co. For JFC, the acquisition will allow 49 per cent interest in SF Vung Tau Joint Stock Co. in Vietnam and a 60 per cent in Blue Sky Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. It has already advanced $5 million to the SuperFoods group, which has annual sales of about $30 million.

The deal has been mediated through a JFC owned unit of Jollibee Worldwide Pte Ltd in Singapore, the JSF Investments.

The SuperFoods chain, with annual sales of $30 million, is well entrenched in the coffee shop market in Macau, Hong Kong and Vietnam. It operates brands including Highlands Coffee, Hard Rock Cafe and Pho24 restaurants. Highlands Coffee operates 54 western-style coffee shops in Vietnam and sells packaged coffee through its retail stores.

SuperFoods recently entered the noodle dish restaurant market through the takeover of Pho24, which specialises in Vietnamese rice noodles. Pho24 has two stores in the Philippines – one in Power Plant Mall and another at the Ayala Triangle Gardens.

JFC said the partnership with Viet Thai International would aim to offer Asian mass consumers “high quality coffee and cafe experience at affordable prices through the Highlands Coffee Shops and the Highlands Packaged Products” and “high-quality Vietnamese food at affordable prices” through the Pho24 brand and restaurants. JFC will include Highlands Coffee on the menus of its various restaurants.

Franchising rights for Highlands Coffee in the Philippines were obtained through an agreement reached on December 20 between IP Ventures and Blue Sky Holdings. IP Ventures is a company controlled by IPVG Corp. Under the brand Netopia, it controls the largest chain of internet cafes (116 outlets) in the Philippines.


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