Category: Enterprise

Phillipines Jollibee Completes Buyout Of Happy Bee In China

Fast food service giant Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) is confirmed the full ownership of Happy Bee Foods Processing Pte Ltd after it has secured government and regulatory approval in China to buy out its joint venture partner. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Jollibee Worldwide Pte Ltd (JWL) acquired the remaining 30 percent stake in the China-based food manufacturer Hua Xia Harvest Holdings Pte Ltd., through an equity-and-asset swap deal valued at US$10.4 million.

This move lies in line with the Asian firm’s target as it seeks to rival McDonald to become one of the world’s top 10 fast food brand. Looking at its present oversea growth, the Asian food company has a total operation of 22 commissaries worldwide, that is 15 in the Phillippines, three in China and the United States as well as one in Vietnam. In a statement, the company said that it would continue to pursue an aggressive drive to buy more overseas companies with ticket sizes up to US$100 million.

This acquisition frenzy has begun in 1994 when it first acquired 80% of Greenwich Pizza in the Philippines. Since then, the Filipino fast food chain has more than 10 companies under its belt with its latest acquisition, prior to this, happening late last year at a 40 percent stake in US-based brand Smashburger Master LLC for US$99 million.

But aside from its ambitious appetite, another reason behind this partnership is so that Happy Bee can solely support the continued growth of its flagship restaurant Yonghe King in China, which is one of JFC’s largest business in China with a total of 316 stores which contributes 8 per cent to JFC’s worldwide system-wide sales.

“The objectives behind the acquisition of the 30 per cent ownership of Happy Bee which gave JFC 100 per cent ownership of the food processing facility are to enable JFC to concentrate on supporting the growth of its Yonghe King business and on further improving its food quality and increasing the assurance of its food safety,” says Jollibee’s Vice President Valerie Amante.

Henceforth, with this change in ownership, Happy Bee will no longer produce and sell food products to institutions other than JFC’s restaurant businesses. It is noted that the transaction is basically an asset for equity swap, with Hua Xia selling its 3,518,018 shares in Happy Bee priced at $2.96 per share. The transfer of shares and assets are expected to be completed within 2016.

On another note, JFC added that it is also exploring a joint venture possibility with ISE Foods Inc, a Japanese firm for an egg production facility in the Philippines.

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By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

The World’s Biggest Shopping Event: Alibaba Achieve Highest Sales Record Of US$ 17.7 Bn On Singles’ Day

As Singles’ Day 11.11 approaches again, consumers are happily celebrating their singlehood with a discounted online shopping spree. But nobody is happier than online shopping retailers as they rake in big profit from this retail frenzy.

Especially Alibaba who marked Singles’ Day with a splashy four-hour show in Shenzhen which included appearances from Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson, ex-England footballer David Beckham, retired NBA player Kobe Bryant, and live music from One Republic.

The event kicked off at midnight on Thursday 10th November, whereby with just 52 seconds into the day, the Chinese e-commerce giant has already made over US$ 146 million, according to Vulcan Post. And as the day ends, Alibaba has made a sales record of 121 billion yuan, that is about US$17.7 billion in this 24-hour time frame., which makes it the biggest e-commerce sales day of the year for Alibaba.

Comparing this to last year’s US$14.3 billion sales, 2016 has seen a rise of 32%. And placing it into perspective, the US$17.7 billion revenue is also three times more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined in 2015.

Despite that, what’s particularly interesting about the sale was that a high volume of purchase was conducted through mobile. As of 1.00pm in China, the mobile usage has represented 84 percent of all sales. While it is an entirely different story in the US shopping bonanza scene, as mobile usage is typically below 35 percent of the total sales.

On top of that, the online sales extravaganza has also seen the participation of about 14, 000 brands. But the best-selling products remains to be Apple Inc., Siemens, Uniqlo, Adidas, iPhones, Nike, and Haier.

Additionally, Alibaba has also been experimenting with new technology as it has allowed users to shop in virtual department stores like Macy’s. Though the concept is still new, but no doubt it will become a more prevalent and important medium for Alibaba as virtual reality and augmented reality gain a foothold among increasing numbers of consumers. VR could also help Alibaba broaden its reach into international markets.

But despite the extravagant event that Singles’ Day now emerge, the event prior to 2009, was only considered a day for singles in China to either celebrate in terms of rewarding and cherishing oneself or as a day to plan mixers to lose their unattached status. The date 11.11 (11th November) was chosen as the number 1 symbolizes a single individual.

The festival was reinvented in 2009 as Alibaba began promoting it as a day of which Chinese consumers should treat themselves to something nice. As a result, Alibaba was able to build momentum for Singles’ Day and turn it into a discount shopping event for everyone, calling the promotion “Double 11”.

“That resonated with people,” Jane Zhang, a principal analyst with Gartner’s personal technologies research team says, “Alibaba is sending a message to the people that we will give you more discounts, so you can treat yourself even better.'” And this can often lead to impulse purchase and overspending.

On the other side of things, however, it seems that not even the new heights of the Alibaba Singles’ Day sales can stop Alibaba Stock’s Trump problem as the company’s stock NYSE: BABA listed on the New York Stock Exchange has continued to plunge. Still, Alibaba’s stock dipped 1.4% on Friday, to $92.99, capping a three-day selloff that left the shares 7 percent lower. This is largely due to the concern that President-elect Donald Trump will follow through on his protectionist rhetoric against China.

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By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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