Jollibee Foods buys 40% stake in US burger chain for USD 99M

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, Oct. 13 (PNA) — Homegrown Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is ramping up its presence in the United States with the acquisition of 40-percent stake in American burger chain for about USD 99 million.

JFC, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Bee Good! Inc. (BGI), signed an agreement with Smashburger Master LLC to purchase stake in SJBF LLC which owns, operates and franchises “Smashburger”, a quick service restaurant chain based in the US.

With headquarters in Denver, Colorado, there are 339 Smashburger restaurants worldwide in 35 states in the US and in seven foreign markets.

“This acquisition will make JFC’s presence in the US more significant, going beyond the Filipino market and serving the mainstream consumers in the USD 100-billion US burger market, a food segment which is estimated to be almost three times larger than the pizza, sandwich or coffee segment in terms of sales,” it told the local bourse.

JFC said the purchase would also make the US one of its most important markets and drivers of long term growth, along with the Philippines, China and the Filipino markets abroad.

Smashburger sees system-wide sales of about USD 339 million in 2015, an amount equivalent to 12 percent of JFC’s estimated worldwide system-wide sales for the same year.

Smashburger’s system-wide sales have been growing at an annual rate of about 30 percent between 2011 and 2015 while its store network has been increasing annually by around 20 percent.

“BGI’s purchase of 40 percent of SJBF is expected to be completed within 2015, subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions…,” it said.

BGI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jollibee Worldwide Pte Ltd, a Singapore company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JFC. (PNA)