JFC raises investment in Tim Ho Wan franchise

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JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) is boosting its investment in the owner of the Asia Pacific master franchise for Tim Ho Wan to $120 million Singaporean dollars (P4.5 billion).

In a disclosure to the stock exchange after trading hours Wednesday, the homegrown food giant said the size of private equity fund Titan Dining LP (Titan) is being increased to $200 million Singaporean dollars (P7.5 billion) from $100 million Singaporean dollars (P3.75 billion) previously.

JFC’s unit, Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL), will then increase its commitment to Titan from $45 million Singaporean dollars (P1.7 billion) previously, so that its investment will account for 60% of the fund, from only 45% before.

“The increase in fund size and additional capital commitment of JWPL are in furtherance of certain strategic projects currently being undertaken by Titan, consistent with its mandate to invest in the food service sector and grow strong Asia Pacific food service brands,” the company said.

Under the previously disclosed terms of the deal, Titan’s fund’s term will end in seven years, after which JFC will be allowed to buy substantial ownership in Tim Ho Wan Pte. Ltd. The company will be franchising the brand in Shanghai to prepare for the transition.

Established in Hong Kong in 2009, Tim Ho Wan is touted as a Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant known for its affordable food choices. The brand will complement JFC’s three Chinese cuisine stores, namely Chowking, Yonghe King, and Hong Zhuang Yuan.

Shares in JFC went up 0.36% or 80 centavos to close at P220.80 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — A.B.Francia