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Toridoll buying up rival noodle chains

Two rival noodle franchises in Hong Kong could be about to merge, thanks to Japanese noodle-maker Toridoll.

It has plans to buy Tam Jai Samgor Mixian for an undisclosed amount, after paying ¥15 billion (US$133 million) to buy the Tam Chai Yunnan Noodle restaurant chain six months ago.

Set to be completed by February, the deals will see the rivals, originally from the same family, united as part of Toridoll, reports MENAFN. The Japanese group plans to aggressively expand outside its home and build 6000 outlets by 2025, mostly in China.

The takeovers will give Toridoll more than 100 stores in Hong Kong. Tam Jai Samgor has 56 stores, six more than Tam Jai, which reported a profit of HK$96 million (US$12.3 million) on a turnover of $695 million as of the end of March last year. Over the same period, Samgor had a profit of $62.5 million on sales of $657 million. Its profit surged 40 per cent to $88 million as of the end of March, on a turnover of $789 million.

Both chains come from a rich Hunan family whose assets were confiscated during the Cultural Revolution in 1966. Three brothers of the Tam family started their first Hong Kong outlet, Tam Chai Yunnan Noodles, combining Sichuan style with Yunnan mixian, in 1996. Within four years the eatery was attracting queues, and management had to put off the staff lunch until as late as 5pm.

Ten years ago, the third brother left the group to establish Tam Jai Samgor Mixian, taking possession of six of the 12 stores.

Also split from the family are listed fast-food groups Cafe de Coral and Fairwood Holdings.

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