Jollibee buys stake in Hard Rock cafe operator

Katherine Visconti

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The bee Filipinos love is now dabbling in Rock 'n Roll, acquiring a 50% stake in the operator of Hard Rock Cafe franchises in Macau, Hong Kong and Vietnam

MANILA, Philippines – The bee Filipinos love is now dabbling in Rock ‘n Roll.

A disclosure to the Philippines Stock Exchange on January 20, 2012 showed that the homegrown fast-food giant Jollibee Corp. completed its acquisition of a 50% stake in SuperFoods Group, an operator of coffee shops in Vietnam and the Hard Rock Cafe franchises in Macau, Hong Kong and Vietnam. 

The deal was completed to the tune of a $25 million investment by Jollibee and a $35 million loan to the Veit Thai International Joint Stock Company.  

The Hard Rock Cafe, a bastion of American Rock ‘n Roll memorabilia, serving classic American foods like burgers and fries, was founded in the early 70s. It went global by the 80s, and now has its distinctive Americana brand in more than 52 countries.

With many Hard Rock burgers in the US costing over $8 a piece or around P350, these burgers fall in the premium price segment that Jollibee has been edging its way into since last year with the purchase of 54% of the Burger King franchise in the Philippines.

Jollibee isn’t just getting several Hard Rock cafe franchises. The SuperFoods Group recently acquired the Pho 24 Brand and restaurants which reach into 6 asian countries, including, Cambodia, the Philippines and Japan.

In November 2011, Jollibee sold its niche coffee chain, Caffe Ti Amo, to focus on overseas expansion. Now its taken a coffee chain abroad into its fold with SuperFoods’ trendy Highlands Coffee, which serves Vietnamese coffee and light meals.

As Rappler forecast in its advisory of what to look out for in 2012 and the big deals of 2011, consolidation and opportunities here and abroad seem to remain an industry theme this year. –

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