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Jollibee goes to Europe, eyes first store in Italy

/ 12:06 AM April 04, 2017

Homegrown fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has teamed up with a Singaporean group to debut into the European continent, picking Milan, Italy, as its gateway to a new overseas market.

Asked by the Inquirer how soon JFC planned to open its first store in Italy and where exactly its first shop would be, JFC chair Tony Tan Caktiong told the Inquirer that they were targeting—if there were no problems with permits—a store opening in September 2017 in the Duomo, Milan area.

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Duomo, or the Gothic Milan Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, is one of the world’s biggest churches located at the center of Milan, a global capital of fashion and design and a financial hub in Italy.

Now Asia’s biggest restaurant chain, JFC entered into a joint venture with Blackbird Holdings Pte. Ltd. to own and operate the first Jollibee store in Italy, the company disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday.

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JFC and Blackbird have committed to jointly invest one million euros (P53.32 million) in the undertaking, of which 750,000 euros (P39.99 million) will be contributed by Jollibee through wholly owned subsidiary Golden Plate Pte. Ltd. (GPPL). GPPL will own up to 75 percent of the venture to be incorporated in Singapore while Blackbird will take the remaining 25 percent. The joint-venture company will, in turn, create a wholly owned subsidiary in Italy to own and operate the Jollibee store.

Blackbird is a Singaporean company incorporated in 2014 and currently holds various investments both in Singapore and in the Philippines in the food and beverage, human resources, agriculture and biotechnology sectors.

“JFC’s strategy is still to tap a territorial franchise for Italy with the capability to develop and expand the brand in the market,” the disclosure said. “The JV partnership will facilitate the entry and the opening of the first store and create the desired awareness for the Jollibee brand in the market.”

The foray into Italy will be Jollibee’s first time to break into the European market. So far, the Jollibee brand is in 171 overseas stores located in 11 markets: US (35), Vietnam (86), Brunei (14), Saudi Arabia (11), Quatar (6), UAE (6), Kuwait (4), Singapore (4), Hong Kong (3), Bahrain (1) and Canada (1).

Together with other local and foreign brands, JFC operates a total of 3,290 stores worldwide, of which 2,670 are in the Philippines. The group also has interest in joint ventures for brands such as Highlands Coffee, Pho24, 12 Hotpot and Smashburger which are not included in the consolidated store count.

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TAGS: Business, Jollibee Foods Corp. JFC
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