The company said on Wednesday it’s acquiring the remaining 15% stake in Tim Ho Wan from its partner Titan Dining LP for S$71.6 million ($52.7 million). Tim Ho Wan operates 53 outlets—mostly franchised stores—across Asia, primarily concentrated in Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines and Hong Kong, it said.
In the past three years, Jollibee has been build its stake in Tim Ho Wan. It initially bought a 45% interest for S$45 million in May 2018 and then increased the stake to 60% in 2019 and then to 85% at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
Chinese cuisine is an important segment for Jollibee, which started out in 1978 as a fast food restaurant serving their signature fried ChickenJoy and burgers. Its Chinese casual dining Chowking chain operates 607 stores worldwide, while Yonghe King, famous for its freshly made soya milk, has 364 stores.
Jollibee said it plans to aggressively expand Tim Ho Wan’s presence in China, targeting to open 100 outlets in the country within the next four years. There are currently three Tim Ho Wan stores in Shanghai.
The expansion in China is part of Jollibee’s global push. In June, Tan Caktiong told shareholders the company plans to spend 12.2 billion pesos ($242 million) this year in its the biggest ever annual capital expenditure to accelerate the expansion of its stores in the Philippines and overseas amid a robust earnings recovery.
Founded by Tan Caktiong over 40 years ago, Jollibee now operates more than 3,200 outlets in the Philippines and over 2,500 overseas—including U.S.-based chains Smashburger and Coffee Bean. Tan Caktiong, 68, was ranked the 11th richest person from the Philippines, according to the World’s Billionaire’s List published in April. With a net worth of $2.4 billion, he also owns a stake in DoubleDragon Properties.