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Higlands Coffee plans to go public in 2019

Released at: 12:10, 22/11/2016

Higlands Coffee plans to go public in 2019

Photo: Duc Anh

Café chain's owner, Superfoods Group, targets IPO and listing by July 2019.

by Doanh Doanh

The Superfoods Group, a joint venture between a subsidiary of the Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), JSF Investments Pte Ltd, and the Viet Thai International Joint Stock Company (VTI), plans to conduct an IPO and list on Vietnam’s stock exchange, according to the Manila Bulletin, the Philippine’s leading newspaper.

In a disclosure to the Philippines Stock Exchange, Jollibee said Superfoods, which owns and operates Highlands Coffee and Pho 24 in Vietnam and is a franchisee of Hard Rock Café, aims to go public by July 2019.

Highlands Coffee now has 159 outlets, Pho 24 33, and Hard Rock Café three. “We are very excited about the planned IPO of Superfoods,” said Mr. Tony Tan Caktiong, JFC Chairman. “Our fastest growing business in terms of country is Vietnam and this reflects the vibrancy and potential of the economy and the strong performance of our joint venture business.”

“I am confident that with the strong capabilities of our partner and the support of our organization in the Philippines we will have a truly significant business in Vietnam.”

The Superfoods Group, which has annual sales of $55 million, is one of the fastest growing joint venture businesses of JFC, and grew by 36 per cent in the first nine months of this year, with Highlands Coffee growing by approximately 78 per cent year-on-year.

“We look forward to making Highlands Coffee and Pho 24 true national champion brands of Vietnam,” Mr. Thai Phi Diep, CEO of Superfoods Group and Highlands Coffee was quoted as saying.

“Our planned IPO will raise capital to enable us to expand the two brands in Vietnam, in other parts of Asia, and in other key cities in the world,” he added. “Our joint effort with the people of Jollibee Foods Corporation will make this possible.” In 2013, JFC acquired a 50 per cent stake worth $25 million in SuperFoods Group from its partner, VTI.

As part of the agreement to list Superfoods on Vietnam’s stock exchange, Jollibee and VTI agreed to change the ownership of Superfoods Group so that Jollibee would hold 60 per cent of the 50-50 joint venture.

The number of shares to be sold at the IPO and the price per share will be determined prior to listing based on the capitalization required to significantly grow the business and the fair value of the business.

The Philippines-based Jollibee Foods Corp is now the largest Asian food services company. To claim its place among the world’s Top 10 fast food brands, JFC last year launched an acquisition drive to buy more overseas companies and was looking at ticket sizes up to $100 million. This came close on the heels of its acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in the US-based restaurant brand Smashburger Master LLC for $99 million.

Shortly after acquiring Smashburger, Jollibee disclosed plans to take its flagship store, Jollibee, to the UK, Italy, Canada, Malaysia and Oman in 2016, and Australia and Japan in 2017, as part of its plans to expand its global footprint. Existing markets are in Vietnam and Brunei.

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