SEA Digest: Jollibee to buy out Titan Dining partners; Thai firm SYNQA to acquire Eventpop

Philippine-listed fast-food giant Jollibee is buying out its remaining partners in Titan Dining while venture-backed SYNQA of Thailand is acquiring events management platform Eventpop.

Jollibee to buy out partners in Titan Dining fund

Philippines-listed Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), the operator of the country’s largest fast-food chain, on Wednesday announced that it will be acquiring the 15% stake that it does not own in private equity fund Titan Dining LP.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, JFC said it will pay S$71.56 million ($52.7 million) to buy the shares of the remaining partners in the fund that owns the Tim Ho Wan brand.

Titan Dining is the master franchisee of Tim Ho Wan restaurants in the Asia Pacific region. The restaurant chain operates 53 outlets in Asia, mostly franchised stores, with the largest concentration in Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.

JFC first invested S$45 million in Titan Dining in May 2018 for a 45% interest. It has since upped its stake to 85%. The company plans to aggressively expand Tim Ho Wan in Mainland China with a target of reaching 100 restaurant outlets within the next four years.

Currently, JFC has five brands serving Chinese cuisine: Chowking, a Chinese fast-casual concept with a presence mostly in the Philippines (607 stores worldwide); Yonghe King, a Taiwanese food-inspired restaurant chain in China (364 stores); Hong Zhuang Yuan, a full-service restaurant chain in Beijing (35 stores); Panda Express (3 stores), and, Tim Ho Wan (3 stores) in China.

Thai fintech SYNQA to buy event creators platform Eventpop

SYNQA, a Thailand-based financial technology company formerly known as Omise Holdings, said it will be acquiring a majority stake in Eventpop, a SaaS platform for event organisers and creators, for an undisclosed amount.

Eventpop provides an end-to-end platform for event organisers and promoters to promote events with marketing and event management solutions. Founded in 2015, it has supported more than 10,000 events attended by more than 3 million participants.

SYNQA said the acquisition will further allow it to provide a customer service experience and offer financial products to event participants across the globe.

Prior to the acquisition, SYNQA and Eventpop had been collaborating in the development of an omnichannel e-commerce platform that focuses on digitising operational processes and providing a solution where business users can offer products to customers. The product is scheduled for launch by the end of the year.

Last year, SYNQA raised $80 million in its Series C funding round led by SCB 10X and SPARKX Group, through its Mirai Creation Fund II. The round was joined by Toyota Financial Services Corporation (TFS), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), SMBC Venture Capital (SMBCVC), Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Corporation (ADI), and other investors.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.