Jollibee takes 100% control of Smashburger
MANILA, Philippines — Globalizing Filipino fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has raised its stake in American hamburger chain Smashburger to 100 percent as the group braced for rapid expansion in the US.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday, JFC announced that it had acquired the 15 percent remaining interest in Smashburger held by BurgerMaster LLC for $10 million.
JFC, now the sole owner of the Smashburger business, also announced plans to inject more capital into this business by converting the $80 million loan by its unit Bee Good! Into equity before the end of 2018. This is in order to “strongly support” the growth of Smashburger in 2019 and in the years ahead.
Thomas Ryan — creator of the Smashburger brand, one of the founders of the Smashburger business and its current chief executive officer — was retained as CEO of the business and even assumed greater responsibility as JFC group’s chief product development advisor effective immediately.
“We look forward to the development of Smashburger into a very strong brand and business in the United States. It has excellent products created mostly by Mr. Tom Ryan,” JFC chair and founder Tony Tan Caktiong said in a press statement.
“We also look forward to his helping JFC in his role as chief product development advisor make our products even better and more exciting! Our consumers including those in the Philippines and other parts of Asia and the world will surely be delighted!,” he added.
Ryan is a food scientist by training, with Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees in flavors and fragrance chemistry from the Michigan State University.
Smashburger has 351 stores, mostly in the US. It has presence in Canada, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Savador, Kuwait, Panama, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. It accounts for 7 percent of JFC’s consolidated system-wide sales. /kga
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