Philippines: Jollibee Takes 100% Ownership of US Burger Chain Smashburger

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Jollibee Smashburger
Photo from Jollibee's website.

Philippine-based Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), the largest Asian food service company, announced that it has completely acquired US burger chain Smashburger by acquiring the 15 percent stake it does not own in SJBF LLC, the parent company the entities comprising the Smashburger business for $10 million.

Jollibee paid Smashburger Master LLC in cash through its wholly-owned subsidiary Bee Good! Inc (BGI), according to its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Bee Good! Inc previously held 85-per cent stake in the burger chain after acquiring an additional 45-per cent stake for $100 million, paid in cash, last February.

Smashburger has 351 stores, mostly in the US, and has presence in Canada, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, Kuwait, Panama, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. It accounts for 7 per cent of JFC’s consolidated system-wide sales.

JFC further disclosed that it will inject more capital into the Smashburger business by converting $80 million loan held by Bee Good! Inc on Smashburger into equity before the end of this year in order to strongly support its growth in 2019 and in the years ahead.

“We look forward to the development of Smashburger into a very strong brand and business in the United States,” said JFC chairman Tony Tan Caktiong.

Additionally, JFC disclosed that Smashburger co-founder and chief executive officer Thomas Ryan will remain as the CEO of the burger chain. He has also been appointed JFC’s chief product development advisor effective immediately.

JFC’s country head for North America, Jose A. Minana, will also assume additional responsibility as president of Smashburger. His new responsibilities include introducing JFC’s business management system into Smashburger and prepare it for a strong sustained growth in the US.

The consolidation of Smashburger into JFC increases the Philippine-headquartered fast-food chain’s worldwide store network by 365 stores to a total of 4,162. This also expands JFC’s geographical presence from 16 countries to 21 adding Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, United Kingdom (England and Scotland), and Panama. – AsiaPEVC.com

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