Jollibee invests in Tortas Frontera, Mexican restaurant chain in US
Globalizing fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has entered the Mexican restaurant space in the US by investing in the Tortas Frontera business founded by Chef Rick Bayless.
This partnership will be formalized through an investment by JFC of $12.4 million in Tortas Frontera LLC, in consideration for a 47 percent stake. The remaining 53 percent stake will be held by Chef Rick Bayless and other shareholders.
“We at Jollibee Foods Corporation are very excited about this new partnership. We have great admiration for Chef Rick Bayless for being a top chef, for being a successful restaurateur and for his philanthropic endeavors. Together with his organization and brand Tortas Frontera, we will build a significant business in the large and fast-growing Mexican food category in the United States. This venture is very much in line with JFC’s mission: to serve great tasting food and spread the joy of eating to everyone!” JFC chair Tony Tan Caktiong said in a press statement on Friday.
Tortas Frontera restaurants feature hand-crafted tortas, fresh-made guacamoles, and hand-shaken margaritas. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Tortas Frontera currently has four restaurants in the U.S. – three in Chicago O’Hare International Airport and one at The Arc in the University of Pennsylvania.
Founder Chef Bayless is mostly known his award-winning Chicago restaurants, long-running public television series and for winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters with his authentic Mexican cuisine. He has received numerous James Beard Awards, the most prestigious recognition in culinary art in the United States, including National Chef of the Year, Outstanding Restaurant of the Year (twice) and Humanitarian of the Year.
Mexican food is a rapidly-growing and very popular segment in the US restaurant industry with estimated sales of $40-45 billion in 2017.
The transaction is subject to the fulfillment of agreed closing conditions. /muf
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