Jollibee denies making bid to buy South Korea’s Mom’s Touch

·1 min read

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC), owned by Tony Tan Caktiong, clarified that it has not submitted a bid to acquire South Korean chicken burger chain Mom’s Touch.

The Seoul Economic Daily on July 12 reported that several global food and beverage giants were interested in acquiring the 79 percent stake of K&L Partners in Mom’s Touch. The seller’s desired price of KRW 1 trillion (roughly $764 million) is more than double the $350 million JFC spent to acquire loss-making Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) in 2019.

Jollibee said that while it remains on the lookout for acquisition opportunities, the group has not made any offers in recent months.

“The acquisition of a new business has always been part of [JFC’s] growth strategy. We remain open to opportunities, but are very selective and stringent with acquisitions. With respect to recent months, JFC has not been in any discussions with or given a bid for acquisition to any company either formal or informal,” the Asian fast food giant in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

Mom’s Touch, dubbed the “McDonald’s of Korea,” has 1,352 stores in South Korea and 13 stores in Taiwan, Singapore and the United States. Under K&L Partners, Mom’s Touch grew its net income by 36 percent and 50 percent in 2020 and 2021.

Jollibee has entered the global franchise business through operating the Burger King in the Philippines and Yonghe Tawang, a fast food brand in China.

In addition to Burger King, Jollibee also secured in 2015 a 40 percent stake in Smash Burger, a famous hamburger franchise in the United States, and then made additional investments in 2018 to secure management rights to Smash Burger.

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