PH-listed Jollibee to invest $7.8m in China restaurant joint venture

Photo by Keji Gao on Unsplash

Philippines-listed fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) is investing up to $7.8 million in a joint venture company that will develop and operate Tim Ho Wan Stores in Shanghai.

In a disclosure on Thursday, Jollibee said its wholly-owned subsidiary Golden Plate Pte Ltd has entered into a joint venture agreement with Dim Sum Pte Ltd (DSPL) to form the JV company in China.

Golden Plate will own 60 per cent of the business while DSPL will own the remaining 40 per cent. Golden Plate and DSPL have committed to invest up to $13 million to the JV, of which $7.8 million will be contributed by Golden Plate.

The JV firm will sign a unit franchise agreement with Tim Ho Wan to develop and operate Tim Ho Wan stores in Shanghai and other cities within China. DSPL owns and operates Tim Ho Want restaurants in Singapore.

Tim Ho Wan is a Chinese dim sum restaurant chain that originated in Hong Kong. It has franchises in Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, and the Philippines, with further development planned in the Asia Pacific.

In April 2018, Tim Ho Wan was rated by CNN as offering the Best Value among Hong Kong’s best dim sum restaurants. One of its stores has been awarded one Michelin star since 2010.

The joint venture firm will have its own resources and personnel to operate and manage the business.

Jollibee already has three brands serving Chinese cuisine – Chowking, which operates mostly in the Philippines; Yonghe King, a Chinese fast-food restaurant chain in China; and Hong Zhuang Yuan, a full-service Chinese restaurant chain in Beijing. The three brands account for close to 20 per cent of JFC’s systemwide sales.

The company operates the largest food service network in the Philippines. As of September 30, 2019, it operates 3,238 restaurant outlets in the country. Its worldwide store network reached 4,689 stores.

In July, Jollibee acquired 100 per cent of American specialty coffee and tea brand The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for $350 million, its biggest multinational acquisition so far. Last year, it took complete ownership of American hamburger chain Smashburger after acquiring the remaining 15 per cent stake that it did not own for $10 million.

The company also aims to double down on expansion plans in the US and China that are likely to include more M&A. It seeks to lift revenue in China to 30 per cent of overall sales, while the Philippines would fall to 30 per cent, according to a Bloomberg report in September.

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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.