Philippines' Jollibee says keen to buy a $1 billion U.S. fast food firm

January 22
7:09 AM 2015

Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC.PS), the Philippines' largest fast food company, said on Thursday it is keen to buy a U.S.-based fast food firm with a market value of at least $1 billion to advance a goal of boosting revenues from outside its home base.

In December, Jollibee, which outsells McDonalds (MCD.N) and KFC (YUM.N) restaurants in the Southeast Asian nation, and a partner struck a deal with Dunkin' Brands Group Inc (DNKN.O) to open 1,400 new Dunkin' Donuts cafes in China over the next 20 years.

Jollibee, in a stock market filing, confirmed comments on the U.S. market interest made earlier by Chairman Tony Tan-Caktiong to The BusinessMirror newspaper.

Tan-Caktiong had said Jollibee may look for a partner for the possible acquisition but did not say whether the company was in talks with a prospective U.S. target or even if one had been identified.

Cossette Palomar, Jollibee's investor relations manager, said she was not aware of any talks being held by the company's management with a potential target.

A U.S. purchase could help it get a larger foothold in the world's biggest economy where its market is currently limited to Filipino communities.

"If we acquire a U.S. based fast food (firm), that would mean we will be able to serve the mainstream market, so the coverage will be wider," said Palomar.

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