Jollibee tight-lipped on acquisition target


FASTFOOD giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has issued a clarification on its supposed bid to acquire British sandwich chain Pret A Manger for about $1 billion.

A Thomson Reuters report said Jollibee was in talks with an advisor to acquire Pret A Manger for about $1 billion, based on the latter’s core earnings of more than 93 million pounds ($125.5 million) in 2016. The report said that if the bid succeeds, it would be Jollibee’s biggest overseas deal and potentially one of the largest Philippine international deals.

In a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Jollibee said the information mentioned by the Reuters report did not come from the company.

JFC Chief Financial Officer Ysmael Baysa shared with the bourse the response he emailed to a Reuters correspondent who had earlier inquired about JFC’s supposed bid for Pret.

“Acquisition of new businesses has always been a part of our growth strategy. Jollibee Foods Corporation keeps looking for opportunities for new business acquisitions as a matter of on-going practice,” he said in his email.

“Very few selected companies reach completion of acquisition while the vast majority of potential targets does not. With respect to recent months, JFC has not given a bid for acquisition to any company either formal or informal. We do not mention the name of any company as a matter of policy,” he added.

Established n 1983 in London, Pret operates a chain of stores in Britain offering organic coffee and sandwiches. To date, it has over 350 outlets overseas including the United States, Hong Kong, China, France, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.

JFC is the parent company of several fast food brands including Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King. It also owns Yonghe King and Hong Zhuang Yuan in China and Smashburger in the United States.


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