Philippine fast-food giant Jollibee steps up expansion in China

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippine fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. further expanded its business in mainland China with the completion of its purchase of a 55-per cent interest in a company operating San Pin Wang, a chain of 34 restaurants selling low-priced beef noodles.

JFC, through wholly owned subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL), signed in 2010 an agreement with Guangxi Zong Kai Food and Beverage Investment Co. Ltd. (GZK) to acquire a majority stake in San Pin Wang.

This is JFC's third fast-food chain in China.

The Philippine fast-food group will spend RMB30 million ($4.75 million) to acquire the 55-percent stake from Guanxi, which will remain a strategic partner with a 45-percent interest. JWPL and Guanxi have committed to invest additional 20 million yuan ($3.16 million) in San Pin Wang to fuel its expansion.

San Pin Wang is a noodle fast-food chain with most of its restaurants located in Nanning City in Guang Xi Province in South China.

The two other restaurant businesses operated by JFC in China are Shanghai-based Yonghe King and Beijing-based Hong Zhuang Yuan, which were bought in 2004 and 2008, respectively. As of January this year, the two overseas businesses had a combined network of 319 stores in China accounting for 11 per cent of JFC's worldwide sales.

JFC also has a 70 per cent interest in Jollibee Foods Processing Pte. Ltd., a commissary in Shucheng, Anhui Province.

JFC currently operates 2,466 stores worldwide, of which 1,997 are in the Philippines. The brands in its portfolio are Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal and Burger King.

In January, Jollibee through JWPL has consummated a deal to buy into a regional food group that operates a chain of restaurants across Asia. The group acquired 50 per cent of the business of SuperFoods Group, consisting of a 49-per cent stake in Viet Nam-based SF Vung Tau Joint Stock Co. and a 60-per cent share in Hong Kong-based Blue Sky Holding Ltd.

The SuperFoods group, which has $30 million in annual sales, operates 56 Highlands Coffee stores in Viet Nam. Its Pho24 chain of Vietnamese restaurants has 48 stores in Viet Nam, 11 in Indonesia, four in Hong Kong, three in Japan, one in Cambodia and two in the Philippines. It likewise has Hard Rock Cafe-franchised stores in Macau, Hong Kong and Viet Nam.

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