JOLLIBEE FOODS Corp. (JFC) on Thursday clarified it has not been in any discussions to acquire any company in recent months.

“The acquisition of a new business has always been part of Jollibee Foods Corporation’s growth strategy. We remain open to opportunities, but are very selective and stringent with acquisitions,” the company said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

“With respect to recent months, JFC has not been in any discussions with or given a bid for acquisition to any company, either formal or informal,” Jollibee said.

The company made the statement to clarify a news story titled “Mom’s Touch, a competitive battle for global food companies… The ransom is over 1 trillion” posted in The Seoul Economic Daily on July 12.

According to an English translation of the article written in Korean, which JFC quoted in its disclosure, Jollibee was listed as a potential buyer for Mom’s Touch, a Korean hamburger franchise, along with Yum! Brands and Golden Gate Corp.

The article was quoting Korean market analysts, the JFC disclosure showed.

Mom’s Touch is a South Korea-based franchise brand that sells various flavors of fried chicken and whole thigh chicken patty burgers.

According to its website, as of June 2021, it had 1,333 stores in operation all over the country with systematic franchise management and spirit of co-prosperity.

JFC’s principal business is the development, operation and franchising of quick service restaurants such as Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Yong He King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Mang Inasal, Burger King, Highlands Coffee, PHO24, Hard Rock Caf, Dunkin’ Donuts, Smashburger, Tim Ho Wan, Tortas Frontera, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Panda Express.

They are also engaged in manufacturing and property leasing in support of the QSR systems and other business activities.

JFC shares went up by 20 centavos or 0.09% to close at P212.80 apiece on Thursday. — J.I.DP. Tabile