Biz Buzz: Letting go | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: Letting go

/ 12:33 AM April 25, 2016

ON THE night the deal was signed with Jollibee Foods Corp. to sell his group’s remaining 30-percent stake in restaurant chain Mang Inasal for P2 billion, young tycoon Edgar “Injap” Sia II had mixed emotions. He reminisced about that Sunday in 2003 when he called up his dad to borrow P2 million to put up his very first grilled chicken restaurant.

He remembered the early years when every day, he would go to the first Mang Inasal store in Iloilo to help with the store operations and grill the chicken. “I remembered all the challenges and difficulties of starting a fast-food [outlet], having limited capital and with no fast-food experience at all. I also remembered that time every night until midnight for many years we had to manually mix the marinade that will be used the following day and we had little sleep when we started,” Sia told Biz Buzz.

But at the same time, he said it wasn’t very hard to fully let go of the Mang Inasal chain as the business had been turned over to trusted friends with similar business ethos.


“For the past five years since Jollibee first acquired 70 percent of Mang Inasal in 2010, it has already surpassed the three difficult business stages of transitioning from the start-up infancy stage to adolescence and now to strong adulthood stage. With Jollibee’s operational and financial muscle, and Mang Inasal’s competent leadership team, I am confident that Mang Inasal will continue to dominate the Filipino barbecue fast-food in the country for many decades,” he predicted.


When Jollibee bought the controlling stake in Mang Inasal, it had 303 stores and the network has now grown to 460 stores nationwide with system-wide sales of P12.6 billion as of last year. The chain now serves 300,000 chicken inasal meals a day. The business is still debt-free as it was then. Same-store sales growth last year was 16 percent.

Jollibee’s founder Tony Tan Caktiong, of course, has become Sia’s business partner in the property business DoubleDragon Properties since 2012. And since DoubleDragon had just completed a fund-raising deal from the sale of preferred shares, Sia had no immediate use for the P2 billion from his latest divestment.

“The intention is for the majority of the proceeds from this new cash to remain invested in various liquid assets,” he said. Since he’s too early to retire at 39, Sia has only beefed up his financial muscle for the future.  Doris Dumlao-Abadilla


Defecting to Duterte

WITH the continued rise of presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte in opinion polls—and with election day now only two weeks away—it seems that some business tycoons are shifting or sharing their resources with the colorful Davao City mayor.


Last week, someone said that Duterte was seen in Solaire Resort and Casino, raising a few eyebrows as to what he was doing there. Given the tight schedules of candidates going into the home stretch of the campaign, we doubt if he was there to test his luck at the gaming tables. Instead, our source opined that his visit could have had something to do with Solaire’s owner, Enrique Razon Jr., who has been known to be generous to his preferred candidates.

Of course, Razon was earlier said to have donated a sizable sum to the presidential campaign of Sen. Grace Poe, but when one is a dollar billionaire, one can definitely donate a few hundred million more as contingency plan.

Another business leader who is also said to be supportive of Duterte’s campaign is real estate tycoon and former Senator Manuel Villar (although his wife, Cynthia, is firmly in the Poe camp), while San Miguel president Ramon Ang is also friendly with the Davao City mayor, having been seen together in several public functions since late last year (of course, Ang has always said that, as a businessman, he has to be friendly with everyone).

With the polls looming, expect to see more realignments over the next few days.  Daxim L. Lucas


Property deal

CHEMICAL trading and distribution firm SBS Philippines Corp.—which debuted on the stock market last year with a pitch for “undervalued” property asset play—has started unlocking values from its idle assets. It accepted the offer of a unit of mass housing developer 8990 Holdings to buy its 3.4-hectare property located along the Zapote Road in Barangay Pamplona, Las Piñas for P858.96 million.

Asked what his group would do with the fresh landbank, 8990 Holdings boss Januario Jesus Gregorio Atencio III said the property would be used for a 12-story affordable residential condominium development. The new project could be launched by the third quarter of next year at the earliest, Atencio said.

On the part of the seller, SBS intends to use the net proceeds “for general working capital and to pursue attractive investment opportunities.” The sale will attain financial closing on May 10.  Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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TAGS: Biz Buzz, Business, Duterte, Elections, jollibee, Mang Inasal

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