CENTURY PACIFIC Group, Inc. and JE Holdings Inc. have increased their stakes in listed restaurant operator Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc. after buying out shares that were previously held by Arran Investment Pte. Ltd. 

In a stock exchange disclosure on Monday, Shakey’s said Century Pacific and JE Holdings bought the stake of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd., through affiliate Arran Investment, under a private placement scheme.

Century Pacific and JE Holdings are the private holding firms of the Po and Gokongwei families, respectively.

As part of the transaction, Century Pacific bought 185 million shares, increasing its stake in the operator of casual dining restaurants to 62%, while JE Holdings purchased 98 million shares, hiking its stake to 14.9%. The shares were bought at P9.50 apiece.

GIC previously held 283 million shares, accounting for a 16.8% stake in Shakey’s.

“Shakey’s Pizza is deeply grateful for the trust of our shareholders, both outgoing and current. They have been very supportive of our growth plans, especially when we were prudently navigating through the pandemic and when we boldly entered new grounds, and have helped propel the company to greater heights through the years,” Shakey’s President and Chief Executive Officer Vicente L. Gregorio said.

JE Holdings entered Shakey’s as a strategic investor in 2021 after infusing P1.25 billion in capital to support the restaurant chain’s organic and inorganic opportunities. Since then, Shakey’s has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of flavored fries chain Potato Corner.

“Since being elected in 2021 as a board member of [Shakey’s], I have seen the company navigate through a pandemic and emerge from it a better, more diversified group. This gives me confidence in the group’s vision and capability to execute,” JE Chairman and President Lance Y. Gokongwei said. 

“We are pleased with the opportunities that lie ahead, strongly support [Shakey’s] expansion in the years to come, and look forward to creating synergies with the Gokongwei group,” he added.

To date, Shakey’s has about 2,000 stores and outlets globally. The company’s attributable net income in the first half rose 96% to P489 million while its revenues improved 69.2% to P6.92 billion.

Shakey’s is aiming to achieve 30% annual growth for both its top line and bottom line this year.

“GIC had been with Shakey’s prior to our initial public offering in 2016. As strategic investors, they have been big supporters and have added value to the company. Thus, in turn, I am pleased that the Company was able to generate gains for them,” Shakey’s Chairman Christopher T. Po said.

He said he is grateful for the opportunity to increase his group’s investments in Shakey’s “as we are firm believers and are excited by our future prospects.”

“We are also grateful to the Gokongwei family for their belief in our company and the additional investment,” he added.

Shakey’s shares at the local bourse rose 28 centavos or 3.04% to P9.48 apiece on Monday. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave