JOLLIBEE FOODS Corp. (JFC), through wholly-owned unit Jollibee Worldwide, Pte. Ltd., is planning to purchase a 51% stake estimated at $12.8 million in Milkshop International Co. Ltd., the firm behind Taiwanese bubble tea brand Milksha.

JFC is aiming to hop on the global bubble tea craze by growing the Milksha brand globally, the fastfood giant said in a disclosure on Thursday.

“[The] completion of this transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, and the final purchase price will be confirmed after closing,” it said.

Jollibee said one of the co-founders of Milkshop will continue to hold the remaining 49% stake after the transaction.

The company announced in June that it plans to serve Milksha in the Philippines through its Chowking stores.

JFC and its other subsidiaries, Fresh N’ Famous Foods, Inc. and Mang Inasal Philippines, Inc., have exclusive rights to sell and market products under the Milksha brand through a licensing agreement with Milkshop.

Milkshop was founded in 2008 in Taiwan’s Tainan City. It is involved in the development, operations, and franchising of specialty tea shops under trade names Milkshop and Milksha.

The firm sources its milk from its own dairy ranch and their bubble tea is said to be “free from chemical additives, preservatives, and caramel color.”

Majority of Milkshop’s outlets are in Taiwan with 231 shops, while it has 12 outlets in Singapore, four in Hong Kong, two in Melbourne, Australia, and another two in Vancouver, Canada.

Despite the pandemic, Milkshop booked system-wide sales worth $74.7 million in 2020.

Jollibee shares went up by 2.59% or P6 to close at P238 each on Thursday. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte