Jollibee, Taiwan's Wowprime to open hot pot chain in China

Posted at 08/22/12 3:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) on Wednesday said it is entering into a joint venture with Taiwan's biggest restaurant group to operate the "12 Sabu" hot pot restaurant chain in China.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Jollibee said its subsidiaries Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. and Golden Plate Pte. Ltd. have entered into an agreement with Hoppime Ltd., a subsidiary of Taiwan's publicly listed Wowprime Corp.

Under the agreement, a new company will be created to own and operate the 12 Sabu brand in China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The 12 Sabu restaurant is known in Taiwan for its low-priced hot pot dishes. As of 2011, there are 18 branches in Taiwan, generating revenues of NT$200 million.

The JFC subsidiaries will own 48% of the company, while Wowprime's subsidiary and executives will own 48%. The remaining 4% will be owned by "certain individuals" who have retail experience in China.

JFC is expected to invest $8 million in the joint venture between 2012 and 2015.

Wowprime is Taiwan's largest restaurant chain group with 210 stores under 11 brands in Taiwan, 46 stores under 2 brands in China and 2 stores under 1 brand in Thailand.

JFC Group operates the Philippines' biggest restaurant network, with 2,022 stores. This includes Jollibee (756), Chowking (385), Greenwich (201), Red Ribbon (207), Mang Inasal (448) and Burger King (25).

JFC's China operations include 367 stores under the Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan and San Pin Wang brands.