FILIPINO fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has fully acquired Michelin-starred restaurant chain Tim Ho Wan following the purchase of its remaining stake held by other investors.
Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL), JFC signed a deal to purchase the remaining 15% interest held by investors in Titan Dining LP for 71.56 million Singapore dollars (SGD) or P2.65 billion, according to reports on Thursday, August 12.
Tim Ho Wan operates 53 outlets in Asia, most of which are franchised stores with the largest concentration in Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
JFC started building its stake in Tim Ho Wan in May 2018, buying a 45% interest for SGD 45 million (P1.7 billion) in Titan Dining, the private equity fund which owns the Tim Ho Wan brand and company-owned Tim Ho Wan stores.
According to the company, it would have the opportunity to acquire a substantial ownership of Tim Ho Wan’s master franchise in the Asia Pacific region through a purchase mechanism provided for in the investment agreement.
To prepare for this, JFC committed to open a franchise operation of Tim Ho Wan in Shanghai, China.
In October 2019, the company increased its stake to 60% when its capital commitment to Titan increased to SGD 120 million (P4.45 billion).
A year later, JFC further increased its stake to 85% after purchasing the 25% participating interest of another investor in the fund.
Through its joint venture with Titan Dining, JFC has opened three Tim Ho Wan outlets in Shanghai, with the first one being in September 2020 and the latest in July of this year.
“JFC aims to build as an important part of its portfolio a significant business serving Chinese cuisine in different parts of the world,” the company said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, August 11.
The company also said that it is planning to aggressively expand the brand in mainland China with a target of reaching 100 restaurant outlets within the next four years.
Aside from Tim Ho Wan, JFC has four brands serving Chinese cuisine, namely Chowking, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, and Panda Express.