Jollibee scouring China, US for acquisitions

Philippines-based Jollibee Foods is actively searching for at least two more established fast food or QSR restaurant chains to boost its brand portfolio.

Jollibee chairman Tony Tan Caktiong says the company will pay up to $100 million for each investment and it is specifically looking at opportunities in China and the US.

The comments follow the company’s recent purchase of a 40 per cent stake in fast growing US fast food operator Smashburger, for which it shelled out $99 million.  

The search is part of a strategy to increase the proportion of the company’s revenue sourced from outside the Philippines. Jollibee openly aspires to become one of the world’s largest fast food operators and it already ranks 10th as defined by market capitalisation – and first in Asia.

But to be truly considered a global player, the company needs to derive at least 50 per cent of its income from offshore – currently that share sits at about 20 per cent.

Earlier this month, Jollibee said it planned to enter seven new international markets over the next two years, along with 20 additional outlets in Vietnam, and another 12 in Brunei during coming months.

Dennis Flores, VP for international operations of Jollibee, has revealed the company plans to take its mainstay Jollibee burger restaurant brand Jollibee into the UK, Italy, Canada, Malaysia and Oman in 2016. Forays into Australia and Japan will follow in 2017.

Jollibee, publicly listed in the Philippines, had been actively seeking an investment in a leading US growth brand to gain a foothold in the US, as part of its broader plan to become an international restaurant operator. It currently operates and franchises a network of more than 3000 restaurants worldwide under the trade names Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Mang Inasal, Burger King Philippines, San Pin Wang, and Jinja Bar. Jollibee also has a 50 per cent interest in the Super Foods Group, which operates and franchises restaurants under the Pho 24 and Highlands Coffee brands throughout Vietnam.

Jollibee’s network outlets have reached 3,023 worldwide, with 2,393 of them in the Philippines, and 630 outlets abroad.

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