Thai-headquartered Minor International has bought an effective 70-per-cent stake in the master-franchise rights holder of Bonchon chicken in Thailand.
The deal sees Minor take controlling interests in Singapore’s Spoonful Pte and Spoonful Thailand, which will drive future expansion of the South Korean fried-chicken chain in Thailand. Minor paid US$79 million for the shares.
The transaction leaves Mint as the effective operator of Bonchon chicken in Thailand and follows its $66 million purchase of Chicken Time last November, which at the time ran 40 outlets across Thailand. At the time of that deal the company said it was in the process of negotiating with Bonchon’s South Korean owners for the right to expand the network further.
That pathway has been cleared and Mint says it now owns long-term exclusive territorial rights and the ability to expand and sub-franchise Bonchon chicken in Thailand. It plans to grow the store network to more than 150 restaurants throughout the country by the end of 2024, representing a five-year CAGR of more than 25 per cent.
“This latest investment in the master franchise rights of the Bonchon brand … emphasises our strategy to enhance our portfolio offerings and further strengthen the restaurant business in Thailand,” said Minor Food CEO Paul Kenny.
“With almost 10 years of presence in the country, Bonchon brings a highly loyal customer base of Thai millennials and Generation Z, which we will further build on.”
The expansion strategy will focus on shopping centres and community malls, along with delivery-format stores to capture the fast-growing delivery market. With only two stores outside the nation’s capital of Bangkok currently, key cities in the regions will be targeted as well.
During the first two months of this year, sales of Bonchon chicken in Thailand have proven resilient amidst the coronavirus crisis, supported by strong delivery sales.