JOLLIBEE Foods Corp.’s (JFC) wholly owned unit Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) is buying back up to $250-million guaranteed senior perpetual securities in line with JFC’s plans to “strengthen its balance sheet.”

The guaranteed senior perpetual securities forms part of the $600-million securities issued by JWPL in January last year at the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. (SGX-ST).

The tender offer will be partially funded by the proceeds from JFC’s preferred shares offering to consist of the sale of 12 million Series A and Series B preferred shares for up to P1,000 each. This is the first tranche of shares from JFC’s shelf-listed 20 million preferred shares.

JFC said it “expects to have fewer debt obligations, more distributed financial maturities over the next few years, lower foreign exchange risks, and better leverage and debt servicing ratios.”

The company views the tender offer and the issuance of preferred shares this year as instrumental to its plans for store expansions in 2022.

“All these actions will support JFC in maintaining its capability to finance its profitable growth, which is forecasted to accelerate in the next few months and years,” the company said.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, JFC said it launched 11 Jollibee stores across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in the first half of the year. It is set to open more stores in the coming months.

The new stores include two branches in the United Kingdom (UK) and its first store in Madrid, Spain. Jollibee is eyeing to launch 50 stores in Europe for the next five years, with a focus on the UK, Italy, and Spain.

In Qatar’s capital Doha, Jollibee opened new restaurants at the Villaggio Mall and City Center Mall. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, Jollibee opened a new store at the Riyadh Gallery Mall.

Jollibee also opened two new Hong Kong stores — one in Causeway Bay and another along Wanchai Road.

“As many parts of the world continue opening up, especially in Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia [or the EMEAA region], consumers look for new and unique moments to bond with their family and friends,” said Dennis M. Flores, president of JFC for EMEAA.

“We’re glad that consumers in these markets have warmly welcomed Jollibee,” he added.

JFC said it hopes to become “a major player” in the EMEAA’s quick-service industry.

Shares of JFC at the stock exchange went up by 2.32% or P4.60 on Tuesday, closing at P203 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte