Philippine’s homegrown fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) said on Thursday that its subsidiary JSF Investments Pte. Ltd has hiked its stakes in SuperFoods Group to 60 percent.
The 10 percent increase from its previous 50-50 ownership share comes from its partner in the joint venture, Viet Thai International Joint Stock Co. (VTI).
This move lies in line with the agreement dated back on November 18, 2016, which will allow JFC to include the joint venture in its financial consolidation and in turn facilitate the listing of SuperFoods Group on Vietnam’s equities market by July 2019.
“To help fund the SuperFoods’ expansion plans, Jollibee Foods Corporation will henceforth take the lead in the capital raising activities of the joint venture and will work with various financial institutions in Vietnam and other parts of Asia in this undertaking,” Jollibee said in a statement.
SuperFoods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jollibee’s JSF Investments Pte Ltd (JSF), and Viet Thai International Joint Stock Co. (VTI) with most of its businesses in Vietnam.
The SuperFoods Group owns and operates the brands Highlands Coffee and Vietnamese noodle house Pho 24, as well as the Hard Rock Cafe franchise shops in Vietnam, Macau, and Hong Kong. At the end of March, these three brands amount for a total of 216 stores with its presence across 17 countries outside the Philippines, including Indonesia, Cambodia, and Australia.
In the next three years, the SuperFoods Group plans to open another 485 stores, mostly in Vietnam, while expanding the brands through franchising in other parts of Asia and in Australia. The company also plans to enter Malaysia as part of its expansion in Southeast Asia.
JFC plans to build a significant business in Vietnam given its potential to become a large consumer market. Like the Philippines, Vietnam has a high population at 95 million and has enjoyed robust economic growth, which reached a 6.2 percent growth last year.
The SuperFoods joint venture is one of its fastest-growing businesses, with its sales reaching US$58 million in 2016, that is up to 46 percent from the prior year, driven by the 73 percent expansion of the Highlands Coffee.
JFC operates the largest foodservice network in the Philippines. At the end of March, it had 2,684 restaurant outlets under the brands Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Burger King, and Mang Inasal. Abroad, it operated 620 restaurants including the brands Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, and Dunkin’ Donuts.
JFC maintains interest in joint ventures operating 611 stores worldwide. Aside from its interest in SuperFoods, it also has 40 percent ownership of US chain Smashburger and 48 percent of 12 Hotpot.
By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork
Yixia Technology, a Beijing-based developer behind Chinese top video blogging app Miaopai is getting ready for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) later this year.
The company is reportedly going to appoint a senior management team next month, which further advocate news about its listing.
According to sources, “They are planning to get listed in the second half of this year, most likely in the U.S. market given that Weibo, a major investor of Yixia Technology is listed on NASDAQ.”
However, not much information has been revealed about the IPO timetable, as sources explained that on one hand, the board hasn’t reached a consensus. While another reason being that they would like to progress gradually as circumstance could change in big deals like this.
Additionally, rumors surrounding Yixia Technology’s IPO has been around for some time. As prior to this, several Series C investors of the company, the founder of StarVC as well as Zhou Wei, partner of KPCB, has discussed the firm’s IPO plans.
Founded in 2011, Yixia Technology is one of the leading video app developers to have ridden China’s video and live-streaming boom. Its flagship product Miaopai is a leading video clip editing and sharing app which claimed over 1.7 billion daily views as of September 2016.
Its growth is often attributed to its convenient integration into Weibo, the leading Twitter-like social media and strategic investor of Yixia Technology. But Weibo’s investment has been paid off even before the Yixia Technology’s listing as its shares have recently jumped to historical high due in parts to the boost from Yixia.
Besides that, two of Yixia Technology’s video platforms, video-dubbing app Xiaokaxiu and live streaming platform Yizhibo have also recorded significant growth during the past year. According to data from the company, Miaopai and Xiaokaxiu have a combined daily user base of 70 million with Yizhibo covering 10 million daily users.
Investors have been enthusiastic about the Beijing-based firm for some time, where it has pocketed nearly US$800 million funding in overall six rounds of financing from Weibo, Sequoia Capital, and RedPoint Ventures. The company’s most recent US$500 million round raised the company’s valuation to between US$3 billion to US$5 billion.
Prior to this, founder and CEO of Yixia Technology, Han Kun has answered inquiries from local media regarding its IPO plans, stating that: “Not a single startup that aspires for long-term and sustainable growth would forgo their IPO plan. However, going public is different for every company, taking every aspect of the company into consideration.”
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media
ECOVAS Robotics Co., Ltd., a Chinese robot vacuum maker backed by IDG Capital has filed with the country’s securities regulator for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Founded in 1998 by Chinese entrepreneur Qian Dongqi, Jiangsu province-based ECOVACS was initially an electronics manufacturer making vacuums for Philips, Panasonic, and Electrolux as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
In 2000, the company moved up from the lower-end of the manufacturing factories to becoming a technology enterprise with in-house research and development capability to obtain core technology competence.
Since then, ECOVACS has continued to invest in research and development, while beginning to focus on robot vacuums and robot home appliances in 2004 after Qi saw iRobot’s popular robot cleaners.
At present, the company sells a range of products in over 30 countries including robot floor cleaner, robot window cleaner, mobile air cleaner, and humidifier, as well as home entertainment and security robots.
Currently employing more than 5,000 people with corporate offices in Canton Ohio, Dusseldorf Germany, Tokyo Japan and Suzhou city in China, ECOVACS claims to be China’s number one robot home appliances maker with a 65% market share.
In 2013, IDG Capital invested an undisclosed amount in ECOVACS in exchange for a 10 percent stake in the company. The venture firm’s stake was reduced to 9.12 percent as the company conducted a shareholder restructuring after it decided to list domestically, instead of the initial plan in the United States.
However, in spite of having filed an IPO prospectus to complete an IPO, companies in China must wait in queue for a few years before IPO, as there are currently over 800 companies waiting in line to be permitted to complete their listings.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media
Singaporean online fashion and lifestyle platform iFashion Group, announced today that it has acquired independent designer brands marketplace Megafash for S$3.15 million (about US$2.23 million).
This cash and shares deal follows iFashion’s previous purchase of lifestyle and fashion brands INVADE, Dressabelle and Nose, making Megafash its fourth acquisition to date – an effort to strengthen iFashion’s portfolio and pave the way for iFashion’s listing slated in April or May this year.
Following this acquisition, iFashion will also appoint Jeremy Khoo, the CEO, and founder of Dressabelle, an O2O fashion marketplace that it has acquired last year for US$5.5 million as its new CEO to drive the company to the next level.
Launched in December 2015 by Lau Kin-Wai and Douglas Gan, Megafash initially commenced as a fashion-focused platform, but later extended its services to include lifestyle and designer’s products. At present, iFashion has a strong presence in both the physical and e-commerce platform, with 7 outlets operating in more than 15,000 square feet of retail space.
Megafash has also positioned itself as a curated marketplace, working with more than 2,000 Indie brands internationally, in addition to a 30 percent of their in-store brands being sold exclusively through the Megafash platform which currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. In 2016, Megafash’s annualised revenue was reported to be S$8 million (about US$5.7 million).
“It’s an exciting time for us at Megafash. The brand has grown significantly, from 3 stores in 2015 to 7 stores currently. In times of economic downtown, we are pleased to say that our revenue grew five times from 2015. Megafash continues to grow as Singapore’s leading lifestyle marketplace. In fact, in December we received as many as 2,000 orders a day.” Jiawen Ngeow, the CEO AND Co-founder of Megafash said.
Backed by Fatfish Internet Group, Sovereign Capital, and Fashion DK Group among some, iFashion’s offers mentorship, marketing, logistics, warehousing, sales, fulfillment, and financial services for online entrepreneurs who aim to grow their respective businesses and widen their user base.
“Our acquisition of Megafash completes our line-up of brands for our IPO. We believe that the acquisition strengthens the iFashion group by extending our offerings from mainly fashion products to lifestyle. In the recent months, iFashion has seen continued growth and change, including the appointment of our new CEO. We look forward to an exciting time ahead of us, and we are thankful for the support,” said Jeneen Goh, the Corporate Affairs Vice President of iFashion Group.
As part of the expansion plans, Megafash is looking to expand operations overseas and to double its retail outlets in Singapore.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media
Tianmei Beverage Group Corporate Limited, a Chinese F&B company, is going through with its initial public offering (IPO) on the ASX board which is slated to be listed by February 2017.
Led by Phillip Capital, Tianmei’s IPO will see between 40 and 50 million new shares issued at the pricing of A$A0.20, which will raise the Chinese F&B company about A$8 to A$10 million.
Existing shareholders currently hold 120 million shares, in which its market capitalization post-IPO is estimated to be between A$32 and A$34 million with a free float cap of about 30 percent.
Based in Guangdong, Tianmei produces a range of premium bottled water products, as well as retailing fast-moving consumer (FMCG) products through an established network of 941 retail stores and supermarkets.
Aside from bottled spring water, the company also sells a range of 530-millilitre baby water branded under Tianmei label, which is targeted at parents. The bottle holds “premium” spring water that has undergone special treatment and packaged under high-pressure sterilisation.
As part of its public listing on the ASX, Tianmei is also in search of partnership with Australian producers to sell their products through the existing retail network to China, alongside Tianmei’s own range of beverages.
“Expanding to China has always been a challenge for Australian companies. China has a vast and diverse population spread over a huge area, which means that trading practices, dialects, and product regulations can vary greatly in different provinces – especially when you get into the outer regions. It’s a much bigger and more complicated market than Australia,” said Anthony Sherlock, the Australian Chairman of Tianmei Beverage Group.
At present, Tianmei has entered into MOUs with two Australian firms, a dairy producer that makes milk, butter, and yogurt products as well as a food and beverage distributor.
“The best way to do business in China is with a trusted intermediary that understands the landscape and already has strategic partnerships in place. Like most people, Chinese executives generally prefer to deal with people they are familiar with and who have an established track record,” Sherlock adds.
Moreover, given that Australia possesses a significant brand strength with regard to high health and environmental standards, this will bring benefits to the exportation of Australian FMCG products to China.
Proceeds from the IPO will be used to fund the acquisition of the Qianlifeng water processing plant in Hunan province, which Tianmei uses for water processing, in addition to working capital purposes, to drive product promotion in China, and to provide security of supply for the firm.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media