Jollibee to acquire Chinese-Filipino fast food chain

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MANILA--Jollibee Corp. is to buy Chowking Food Corp., creating the largest Filipino fast food chain with 671 outlets in the Philippines, U.S., Middle East and Asia.

Jollibee said in a statement that the "parties are currently finalizing the documentation to embody this agreement in principle." Prior to the agreement, Jollibee majority owner Tony Tan Caktiong already owned 50% of Chowking. Robert Kuan, who controls Chowking, has agreed to sell the remaining 50% to Tan Caktiong.

One of the key benefits of an alliance with Jollibee would be substantial savings on purchasing, marketing and administrative costs for Chowking,says Jollibee VP Rufino de la Rosa.

The merger will further allow Jollibee to maximize store space, especially if new Chowking branches are built side-by-side with Jollibee stores. "Chowking will attract consumers in the graveyard shift," he adds.

Chowking has 162 branches, including four in the U.S. and three in Dubai.

Jollibee, which has a market value $409 million, has 329 restaurants in the Philippines, Asia and the U.S. It also runs 180 Greenwich pizza parlors throughout the country.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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