JFC Investing $8M To Acquire 49% Of Asian Restaurant Chain

MANILA, Philippines - Jollibee Foods Corporation is investing US$8 million over the next 3 years for the acquisition of a 48 percent stake in a company that will own and operate 12 Sabu brand hot pot restaurants in China, Hong Kong and Macau.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said its wholly-owned subsidiaries Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) and Golden Plate Pte. Ltd. (GPPL) have entered into an agreement primarily with Hoppime Ltd., a subsidiary of Wowprime, to establish a joint venture company.

JFC's subsidiaries combined will own 48 percent of the JV Company, while Wowprime's subsidiary and executives combined will own 48 percent of the JV Company. The remaining 4 percent will be owned by certain individuals with experience in the retail sector in China.

Through their subsidiaries, JFC and Wowprime will share control and management of the JV Company equally. The expected investment from JFC for the period 2012 to 2015 is equivalent to approximately US$8 million.

The 12 Sabu brand features low-priced hot-pot dishes served in a clean and bright dining environment. It highlights safe and fresh food which each customer cooks in individual fast-heating stone hot pots.

As of 2011, there were eighteen 12 Sabu stores operating in Taiwan, with revenues of approximately NT$200 million.

The joint venture aims to tap into the very popular hot pot dining market in China with the benefit of the combined experience and expertise of Wowprime and JFC.

Wowprime, founded in 1990, is a publicly listed company in Taiwan. Known as Taiwan's largest restaurant chain group, it currently owns and operates 210 stores under a total of 11 brands in Taiwan, 46 stores under 2 brands in China, and 2 stores under 1 brand in Thailand. This is the first time for Wowprime to enter into a joint venture.

JFC's China operations include 367 stores under 3 brands: Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, and San Pin Wang, as well as research and development and food processing facilities.

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