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Taking cue from Jollibee, Fruitas finds acquisitions juicy

/ 04:38 AM September 23, 2019

Riding on improving consumer affluence in the country, food and beverage kiosk operator Fruitas Holdings Inc. seeks to scale up its multibrand portfolio through a mix of expansion and acquisitions.

Fruitas, which has applied for a P1.2-billion initial public offering (IPO), aims to open 150 to 250 new stores each year through 2022. It plans to grow existing brands, develop new ones or buy other enterprises.

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It also plans to open two more food parks up to 2021.

Lester Yu, founder, president and chief executive of Fruitas, said in an interview that his vision was for this company to be “ubiquitous” in the Filipino way of life.

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With a current daily stock inventory of roughly 100,000 units in its 949 kiosks, Yu said Fruitas was still in its infancy stage.

“There’s a big room for growth. In Mindanao, for instance, we only have 50 stores,” Yu said. In the Visayas, the company has around 200 stores.

On bringing the company to public hands, Yu said he was inspired by the success story of Jollibee Foods Corp., which started as an ice cream parlor but was now a global food service operator with over 4,600 stores worldwide. He likewise cited the rapid growth of SM Investments and Megaworld Corp. after listing.

While there are other food service operators listed on the local stock exchange, Fruitas is the first kiosk network operator to brave the capital market.

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