Foodfest! The Big Chill to buy Sugarhouse

Rappler.com
Fruit juice retailer The Big Chill has been conducting a due diligence on cake shop Sugarhouse in a bid to expand the group's retail food business

MANILA, Philippines – Fruit juice retailer The Big Chill, Inc. has been conducting a due diligence on cake shop Sugarhouse in a bid to expand the group’s retail food business.  

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Wednesday, February 15, The Big Chill’s parent company, AgriNurture, a listed food producer and trader, confirmed reports that there have been a memorandum of agreement signed last February 13 for a possible purchase deal.

“Under the MOA, the determination of the exact purchase price of the assets and the execution of the pertinent deeds of conveyance are still subject to the conduct of a legal, tax and financial due diligence, as well as compliance with the conditions imposed by TBC (The Big Chill),” it said.

If the deal pushes through, Sugarhouse, a 3-decade old brand, will be the latest in the expanding retail outlets under The Big Chill group.

AgriNurture acquired a 51% stake in The Big Chill in 2011, increasing the aggressive listed firm’s retail outlets to more than 50.

Among AgriNurture’s investors is agribusiness giant Cargill. The American firm’s unit, private equity firm Black River Capital Partners Fund recently acquired a 28% stake in the local player.

Integration

AgriNurture has been aggressive in expanding its food retail business, via The Big Chill, and following the pattern of vertically integrated operations. In a supply chain, members of a vertically integrated companies produce a different product to satisfy a common need.

Parent firm AgriNurture produces and distributes fruit beverages and puree, dried fruit snacks, processed fruit mix, frozen fruits & vegetables, rice products, tomato paste and fresh flowers, which it distributes to various retail chains, including that of its own The Big Chill.

Under AgriNurture are the following brands:

  • FCA (Fresh Choice Always) fresh and processed wellness food products
  • La Natural coconut juice
  • Nikka mango nectar & tamarind juice
  • etc.

Meantime, the following are the retail outlets under The Big Chill group:

  • SuperFresh, drinks and dessert kiosks
  • Tully’s Coffee
  • Fresh Bar, healthy snack concept
  • C’Verde, vegetarian quick-service restaurant  
  • Canefusion, sugarcane kiosks

 

AgriNurture plans to make products produced by group members available for sale in or as a raw material at distribution and retail outlets. 

Aside from AgriNurture, homegrown food giant Jollibee and retailer Pancake House have likewise been pursuing deals to expand their businesses here and abroad. – Rappler.com

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