Jollibee Foods Corp., which has a market capitalization of more than P300 billion, operates the largest food service network in the Philippines. As of end-March, the company was operating 2,895 restaurant outlets in the country. Philippines
Jollibee enters into Mexican restaurant business in US
( - September 7, 2018 - 3:11pm

MANILA, Philippines — Jollibee Foods Corp. on Friday announced it is investing $12.4 million in Mexican restaurant Tortas Frontera in the United States, as the homegrown fast-food giant expands its global presence.

The company behind the hugely popular sweet-style spaghetti and “chickenjoy” told the Philippine Stock Exchange it has entered into a business venture with award-winning chef Rick Bayless to build a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the US through its wholly-owned subsidiary Jollibee Foods Corporation (USA).

Under the transaction, JFC will invest for 47 percent of the fully-diluted membership interests in Tortas Frontera LLC, which owns the Tortas Frontera business founded by Bayless.

Bayless will hold the remaining 53 percent membership interests in Tortas Frontera.

“We at Jollibee Foods Corporation are very excited about this new partnership. We have great admiration for Chef Rick Bayless for being a top chef, for being a successful restaurateur and for his philanthropic endeavours,” JFC Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong said in a statement.

“Together with his organization and brand Tortas Frontera, we will build a significant business in the large and fast-growing Mexican food category in the United States. This venture is very much in line with JFC’s mission: to serve great tasting food and spread the joy of eating to everyone!” Caktiong added.

JFC’s partnership with Bayless came after the Philippine company completed its acquisition of additional 45 percent share in US hamburger chain Smashburger Master LLC.

With a market capitalization of more than P299 billion, JFC has 4,279 stores worldwide as of June 30, 2018.

As of 2:47 p.m. Friday, shares in JFC were up P1.60 or 0.58 percent to P277.60 apiece on the stock exchange. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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