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Ajisen (China), Katrina Group sign So Pho deal

Aiming to grow in China and enter the Hong Kong market, Singapore F&B company Katrina Group has signed an agreement with Big Benefit Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ajisen (China) Holdings.

Under the deal, Katrina will hold a 30 per cent stake in the JV company, which manages snack bars, cafes, restaurants and other food services. It serves Vietnamese-style dishes under the brand So Pho in China and Hong Kong.

So Pho springroll

Katrina founder/CEO/executive chairman Alan Goh says Ajisen is one of the largest restaurant chains in China. ‘This collaboration will extend our geographical reach in China and help us enter the Hong Kong market. It is a bold step in further strengthening Katrina as a regional F&B group.”

Hong Kong-listed Ajisen China has nearly 700 restaurants in 120 cities and 30 provinces in China and Hong Kong, while Katrina Group, which specialises in multi-cuisine concepts, owns and runs 33 restaurants in Singapore under nine brands including Bali Thai and Streats.

Ajisen China and Katrina will provide working capital for So Pho International of up to US$1.05 million and $450,000 respectively through an interest-free shareholders’ loan.

Katrina will also trademark So Pho International in Mainland China with an exclusive right to sub-license and franchise the trade name of “So Pho”.

“With our strong track record and Katrina’s brand development capabilities, we look forward to growing the So Pho brand in China and Hong Kong,” says Ajisen China founder/chairman/CEO Wai Poon.

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