Minor International buys Bonchon restaurants in Thailand
Thai hospitality firm Minor International has bought Thai restaurant operator Chicken Time, which operates more than 40 Bonchon fried-chicken outlets across the nation.
Minor paid THB2 billion (US$66 million) for the business and is in the process of negotiating with Bonchon’s South Korean owners for the right to expand the network further.
Bonchon, which was established in South Korea in 2002, has become a global brand as Korean cuisine and Korean-style fried chicken have gained increasing popularity worldwide. The brand differentiates itself with a specialised Korean-style fried chicken glazed with its signature sauces.
Bonchon restaurants have rapidly expanded worldwide, spanning across nine countries including the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, the US, Bahrain and Kuwait.
“The already-lucrative portfolio of Bonchon brand in Thailand will bring us immediate revenue and earnings to further sharpen our growth trajectory,” said Minor founder and chairman William E. Heinecke. “We believe that Thailand continues to offer promising long-term outlook on the back of its growing middle class and increasing personal income. The unique customer proposition of the Bonchon brand combined with our robust four-decade experience and well-established operating platform in Thailand will no doubt equip us to further maximise value of this new investment for our shareholders.”
“We took our time to find the right brand to be added to our food portfolio and we couldn’t be happier that we found this one-of-a-kind food concept,” said Minor Food CEO Paul Kenny. “Chicken is undoubtedly one of the top preferred protein for Thai people, and the growth potential of such market is enormous. While Bonchon will fit well within our casual dining restaurant portfolio, at the same time it also enhances our brand diversification. This strategic move will surely take Minor Food to another level, building on our long history as a restaurant operator.”
Minor International focuses on three core businesses: hospitality, restaurants and lifestyle brands distribution. The company operates 529 hotels under brands including Avani, Oaks, Marriott, Four Seasons, St Regis, Radisson Blu in 55 countries and is one of Asia’s largest restaurant companies with more than 2200 outlets in 26 countries under brands including The Pizza Company, The Coffee Club, Riverside, Thai Express, Swensen’s, Sizzler, Dairy Queen and Burger King. Minor International is also one of Thailand’s largest distributors of lifestyle brands and contract manufacturers, with its portfolio including Anello, Bodum, Bossini, Brooks Brothers, Charles & Keith, Esprit, Etam, Joseph Joseph, OVS, Radley, Scomadi, Zwilling J A Henckels and Minor Smart Kids.