Jollibee eyes 3rd food chain in mainland China

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Jollibee
Homegrown giant Jollibee Foods Corporation has acquired a majority stake in a noodle business in the southern province of China--its third in the mainland. In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, Jollibee said it is set to acquire 55% stake in San Pin Wang, a fastfood chain operating mostly in Nanning City in Guang Xi province.

San Pin Wang offers low-priced beef noodles and other Chinese cuisine. It has a network of 34 chains. Jollibee is looking at investing RMB30 million (est. US$4.5 million, Php 195 million) for the controlling stake

Its wholly-owned unit Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. has signed a share purchase agreement with Guangxi Zong Kai Food Beverage Investment Company Limited, which will continue to own 45% of the noodle business.

The share purchase agreement disclosed on Tuesday is a step forward since the 2 parties entered into a framework agreement last April 2010.

The two aim to finalize their joint venture by first quarter next year.

Jollibee presently has stakes in and operates Yonghe King, China's largest restaurant chain, and Hong Zhuang Yuan, a porridge chain. Revenues from the two chain's combined network of 236 stores accounted for 12% of the Jollibee Group's worldwide system wide sales.

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