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PIA Press Release

RP fastfood giant buys into Chinese, Korean chains

Tacloban City (May 6) -- The country's fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corporation disclosed that as part of its expansion strategy, it had bought a majority stake in a noodle chain in China and is building a new chain of casual dining restaurants specializing in coffee and Italian ice cream or gelato using a newly-acquired master franchise for a popular Korean brand.

Under the joint venture agreement, Jollibee will invest 30 million yuan ($4.4 million) for a 55 percent stake in the San Ping Wang restaurant chain, the Philippine company said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

Both Jollibee and its Chinese partner, Guangxi Zong Kai Food and Beverage Investment Co., will invest an additional 20 million yuan for the expansion of the chain that already has 34 outlets, the statement said.

It was learned that San Ping Wang which sells mainly low-priced beef noodles, is profitable and has no debt.

The Jollibee Foods Corporation believes it will be able to make San Ping Wang into a very large and successful fast food chain in China. The investment in the Chinese company will give Jollibee a brand based in Southern China.

Jollibee already dominates the Philippine fast food scene, operating 1,569 outlets across the Southeast Asian nation under different brands.

It also operates over 300 outlets abroad, including 165 Yonghe King restaurants in Shanghai and 46 Hong Zhuang Yan restaurants in Beijing.

Meanwhile, Jollibee Foods Corporation is also building a new chain of casual dining restaurants specializing in coffee and Italian icecream or gelato, using a newly acquired master franchise for a popular Korean brand.

Jollibee Food Corp. in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange said it has entered into a joint venture to acquire the master franchise in the Philippines for "Caffe Ti-Amo." The joint venture will be 50-percent owned by JFC and 50-percent by local entrepreneur Pamela Tan and her siblings. The disclosure added that the joint venture partners were not related to the controlling shareholders of Jollibee.

JFC said that together with its partners in the venture, initially capitalized at P10 million, it would develop and build a business around gelato and coffee.

The franchisor will be Caffe Ti-Amo Korea Co. Ltd., owner of the "Caffe Ti-Amo" trademarks based in the Republic of Korea. The Korean restaurant brand was established in 2006 and had grown its network to 269 stores to become a very successful chain in Korea, the disclosure stated.

Jollibee Food Corporation's expansion into the other parts of the world, is a manifestation of the status of the country as among the Big Emerging Market (BEM) economies. The other countries are Brazil, China, Pakistan, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.

Emerging Economies are defined as those "regions of the world that are experiencing rapid informationalization under conditions of limited or partial industrialization." It appears that emerging markets lie at the intersection of non-traditional user behavior, the rise of new user groups and community adoption of products and services, and innovations in product technologies and platforms. (PIA 8) [top]

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