BIZ BUZZ: Yang + Yu = Fly Kitchen | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Yang + Yu = Fly Kitchen

/ 02:06 AM June 06, 2023

An order of burger, fries and a side of Fruitas?

It turns out that the recent deal between entrepreneur Kristopher George Yang, son of fast food tycoon George Yang of McDonald’s Philippines, and food kiosk king Lester Yu has a second component.


Recall that Yu’s Fruitas recently acquired 100 percent of Yang’s Fly Kitchen “cloud kitchen” business, which expands the reach of Yu’s budding food empire.

Biz Buzz learned that Yang is ploughing back proceeds from the sale to Yu’s listed companies Fruitas Holdings and bakery-focused subsidiary Balai Ni Fruitas.


Our sources couldn’t share exact financial details but we’re told it was a respectable-sized investment.

Yang, who apparently bought the Fruitas and Balai shares from the open market, had these comments on the deal.

“Lester has had a strong track record on acquiring and building successful brands. I believe in his vision in turning his products into a daily habit,” Yang said.

“I see Balai Pandesal and the different Fruitas brands as a good fit into the cloud kitchen concept. The cloud kitchen business will provide a solid revenue stream for Balai and Fruit and that is something in which I would like to continue to participate,” he added.

People like Yang, who is also involved in the family’s privately held property business, don’t usually sell their companies to make a quick buck.

In the case of Fly Kitchen, Yang is betting on Yu to take the concept to the next level.

It looks like both parties are getting their happy meals in this deal. Other shareholders should also benefit as the firms deliver on their growth objectives.


—Miguel R. Camus

Small amount, big gesture

The amount involved was relatively small, at least initially, but the gesture was big, especially in the context of its peers across the country.

We’re talking about MORE Electric and Power Corp. of Enrique Razon Jr., which last week—voluntarily and without being prompted—implemented bill deposit refunds for their customers in Iloilo City.

This is significant because, well … when was the last time any electricity distributor in this country decided to return clients’ bill deposits (made when applying for service to cover the cost of power meters, and the like) without being ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission?

Last week, three Iloilo residents became the first electricity consumers to receive their refunds—the first of thousands.

MORE Power president Roel Castro said this was an important move given consumers generally unpleasant experience with distribution utilities around the country, which are often seen as quick to disconnect the service of customers who miss a monthly payment, but slow when it comes to refunding money that’s due to these very same people.

The company—which won a contentious fight against Panay Electric Co. for control of the lucrative Iloilo franchise just before the pandemic— says Iloilo residents can expect more customer-centric policies from the Razon firm.

Of course, not everyone is eligible for a refund. This is only for those clients who haven’t been delinquent in their payments for at least 36 months—an incentive for them to pay their bills diligently and on time.

For this year, a little under 1,000 consumers will receive bill deposit refunds that will total a little under P4 million.

This amount and the number of people receiving refunds is expected to increase in the coming years as more clients develop the habit of paying their electricity bills on or before their deadlines.

In any case, this development bodes well for the residents of Bacolod and Negros Occidental because, from the looks of the joint venture deal that MORE Power is cooking up with the Central Negros Electric Cooperative, it won’t be long before the billionaire ports and gaming tycoon will end up controlling the distribution utility just across the narrow Guimaras Straight. Abangan!

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