• Shakey’s to bring pizza chain to Kuwait

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    Soon-to-be listed Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc. (SPAVI) will open its first international store in Kuwait as part of its plan to expand overseas.

    Vicente Gregorio, SPAVI president and chief executive officer, said on Thursday that the company has recently signed an agreement with a Middle Eastern partner to open 10 stores in Kuwait in a span of seven years.

    The first Shakey’s store in Kuwait will open within the first half of next year, he told reporters after an investor briefing for SPAVI’s initial public offering (IPO).

    SPAVI is offering 352 million shares, inclusive of an oversubscription option of 46 million shares, starting today, December 2, until December 8. Listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange is set on December 15. SPAVI will use the ticker symbol PIZZA.

    More than 80 percent of the IPO proceeds will be used to repay debt. The remainder will fund the expansion of its in-house commissary, which supplies bulk of its proprietary pizza dough and crust, as well as potential acquisitions.

    SPAVI holds the rights to the Shakey’s brand for the Middle East, China and other countries in Asia (excluding Japan and Malaysia), as well as Australia and New Zealand.

    Gregorio said that while they have been receiving “a lot of inquiries” from potential partners abroad, they are currently prioritizing local expansion above international ventures.

    “We’re very selective and we’re not in a rush…Because we’ve seen others that expanded only to scale down. Not to say we will not have deals closed next year, but we’re focused on local expansion mostly in Visayas and Mindanao,” Gregorio said.

    As of end-June, SPAVI operates 177 stores nationwide, more than 70 percent of which are in Metro Manila and Luzon.

    The company has programmed P400 million in capital expenditures next year for commissary expansion and store openings.

    SPAVI is majority owned by the Po Family’s Century Pacific Group Inc. (CPGI), which is the parent company of listed tuna canner Century Pacific Food Inc. (CNPF). Earlier this year, CPGI and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC partnered to acquire majority of the pizza business from the Prieto family, which continues to hold a minority stake in SPAVI.

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