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Jollibee to acquire majority stake in Taiwanese bubble tea chain

Homegrown fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is taking advantage of the growing bubble tea market by securing a majority stake in Taiwan-based Milkshop International Co. Ltd.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, JFC announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) would purchase shares equivalent to 51% ownership in Milkshop International for approximately $12.8 million. 

JFC said one of the co-founders of Milkshop International would retain the 49% ownership of the bubble tea firm.

“Completion of this transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, and the final purchase price will be confirmed after closing,” it said.

Milkshop International, founded in Tainan City in Taiwan in 2008, is primarily involved in the development, operations and franchising of specialty tea shops under the trade names Milkshop and Milksha. 

JFC said Milkshop uses only high-quality milk, carefully sourced tea and natural ingredients. 

It produces milk from its own dairy ranch and their bubble is free from chemical additives, preservatives and caramel color, the company said.

The fast-food group said Milkshop has over 250 outlets, with 231 outlets in Taiwan, four in Hong Kong, two in Melbourne, two in Vancouver, and 12 in Singapore.

Milkshop International’s total system wide sales for 2019 amounted to approximately $66.5 million. 

Despite the pandemic, Milkshop generated system wide sales of $74.7 million last year. 

“First introduced in Taiwan in 1987, bubble tea has since grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide,” JFC said.

“This gives JFC the opportunity to participate in this fast-growing beverage category and together with Milkshop’s founder, grow the Milksha brand globally,” it added.

In June, JFC announced that it would be bringing Milksha to Filipino consumers, the Philippines being home to one of the largest milk tea markets in Southeast Asia. 

JFC and its subsidiaries, Fresh N’ Famous Foods, Inc (FNF) and Mang Inasal Philippines Inc., (MI) now have the exclusive rights, through a licensing agreement with Milkshop, to sell and market products under the Milksha brand in their stores. 

Milksha products will soon be sold in Chowking stores, it said.

JFC is one of Asia’s largest food service companies with a worldwide network of 5,853 stores with 17 brands operating in 34 countries. — VBL, GMA News