Gokongweis cut deal with Pos for a bite of Shakey’s
The Gokongwei family has diversified into the full-service restaurant business with a deal to invest P1.25 billion in leading pizza parlor chain Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc.
Through private investment firm JE Holdings, the Gokongwei family is buying new shares in Shakey’s for P8.20 per share, bringing in fresh capital in exchange for a 9-percent ownership. This buy-in deal makes the Gokongwei family a strategic partner of Po family-led Century Pacific Group and the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore GIC in this enterprise.
Shares of Shakey’s advanced by 6.3 percent to close at P7.93 apiece at the local stock market on Wednesday as investors welcomed the entry of the Gokongwei group as a strategic investor at a time when the food retailing business has become challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the stockholders’ meeting of Shakey’s this coming July, JE Holdings chair and president Lance Gokongwei would be up for election to the nine-seat board of directors, the restaurant company disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“I’ve always been a fan of the Shakey’s brand and look forward to working with both the board and management to further the company’s growth and restart expansion plans in anticipation of the inevitable reopening of our economy. I strongly believe in the long-term prospects of the food service industry, against a backdrop of rising Filipino incomes, and I have confidence that Shakey’s will continue to be a leader in this space,” Gokongwei said.
Shakey’s chair Christopher Po said Gokongwei would be able to bring with him a “variety of perspectives” due to his diverse businesses.
“While our current balance sheet remains healthy, I look forward to further strengthening our financial position, with the new capital giving us additional flexibility at a time when many organic and inorganic opportunities have started to open up. As we are now firmly on the path of recovery, our sights are set on growth and expansion, and I thank the Gokongwei family for their trust and confidence in our long-term plans. We are eager to welcome them into our wow-ing business and culture,” Po said.
Po is no stranger to the Gokongwei group. Prior to heading his family’s businesses, Po had worked at the Gokongwei family-led conglomerate JG Summit Holdings as head of corporate planning and development.
Following an improvement in mobility and structural adjustments to operations, Shakey’s posted a net profit of P29 million in the first quarter, achieving a positive bottom line for the second straight quarter. Compared to the same period last year, net profit declined by 75 percent but against the previous quarter, it improved by 22 percent.
Since opening its first store in the Philippines in 1975, Shakey’s now has 242 branches across the country. This restaurant chain is currently valued by the stock market at around P11.42 billion.