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Mon 18th Sep 2017 - Philippines-based fast food chain eyes $1bn acquisition of Pret A Manger
Philippines-based fast food chain eyes $1bn acquisition of Pret A Manger: Philippines-based Jollibee Foods, known for its sweet-style spaghetti and fried chicken, is exploring a bid for Pret A Manger that could be worth more than $1bn. Jollibee has a huge following in the Philippines, as well as with Filipinos overseas, for its burgers and other fast-food meals. Jollibee has been holding talks with an advisor over an offer for Pret, sources who declined to be named told Reuters. The sources said Jollibee’s offer could value Pret at more than $1bn based on 2016 core earnings of more than £93m. A successful bid by Jollibee would mark the biggest overseas deal to date by the Filipino company, and potentially one of the biggest ever outbound deals from the Philippines. Jollibee, with a market value of $5.2bn, operates the largest foodservice network in the Philippines with 2,700 restaurant outlets, including its eponymous chain of fast-food stores that feature its smiling bee logo. However, it has also been expanding across south east Asia and beyond, hoping to appeal to lucrative local consumers as well as Filipino expatriates with coffee, doughnut and noodle offerings. In its latest accounts, Pret A Manger reported sales increased 15% to £776.2m for the year ending 29 December 2016. Like-for-like sales were up 4.8%, while Ebitda rose 11% to £93.2m. US sales exceeded $200m for the first time. Pret, which opened its first site in London in 1986, now has 444 stores globally – 74 in the US – and is actively targeting 500 sites. It opened 50 shops in 2016, including nine in the US.

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