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Shakey's Pizza to buy french fries kiosk business Potato Corner

By Bim Santos Published Dec 24, 2021 10:50 am Updated Dec 24, 2021 12:53 pm

Care for some giga fries with your Manager’s Choice pizza?

Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc or SPAVI has announced that it will acquire Potato Corner for an undisclosed amount in a carbo-loaded deal.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, the Po family-led SPAVI said the deal covers all assets and intellectual property of Potato Corner, as well as all company-owned stores. 

Potato Corner has said before that around 80% of its stores are owned by its franchisees, which SPAVI will now serve following the deal.

Early this year, Potato Corner co-founder and chief executive officer Jose Magsaysay, Jr. or “JoMag” said that the company has 1,400 stores worldwide, 200 of which are overseas.

2022 is bound to be an exciting reopening year.

Potato Corner was established in 1992 by Jose Magsaysay, Jr. to become one of the most popular kiosk food brands in the Philippines with an international footprint.

SPAVI said that Potato Corner “has built a strong brand equity and demonstrated robust performance, attractive margins, and the capability to scale – all aligned with PIZZA’s criteria for acquisitions.”

“Like most food service businesses in the country, Potato Corner took a blow during the pandemic. Yet, despite challenging circumstances, the business demonstrated resilience, posting profitable returns,” SPAVI said.

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) initially held the local franchise of Shakey’s in the ‘70s, through which the company marketed their draft beer, which is still a staple now in Shakey’s branches. In 1987, SMC sold the franchise to a group led by the Prieto family. Then in 2016, the Prieto family divested their majority share in the business to the Po family’s Century Pacific Group. 

SPAVI now also has 310 Shakey’s outlets in the country after adding 31 this year.

Under the Po family, the company gobbled up the Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken restaurants in 2019 and spun off a separate portfolio called Wow Brand Holdings in the same year to consolidate its other food brands. The company then bought in 2020 the master franchise to bring Singapore’s R&B milk tea brand in the Philippines, and opened the R&B store in Retiro, Quezon City this year.

“Potato Corner is a bankable addition to (our) roster of WOW brands,” said SPAVI president and CEO Vicente Gregorio. “Its co-founder, Jose Magsaysay, has truly established a solid brand foundation with a product that universally resonates with consumers. The current scale of Potato Corner and the brand love that it receives from consumers are a testament to that.”

SPAVI chairman Christopher Po said Potato Corner will allow the group  “to cultivate entrepreneurship as one of our advocacies.”

“I am excited by the attractive business prospects of Potato Corner. I believe the Shakey’s Management team has the capabilities needed for Potato Corner to prosper and grow,” Po said.

“We started with Shakey’s Pizza, then added Peri-Peri and R&B. Now, we will have Potato Corner in our roster. 2022 is bound to be an exciting reopening year.” 

Ligo acquisition

In a separate disclosure, the Po family’s Century Pacific Food (CNPF), Inc also announced the acquisition of Ligo, a popular sardine brand in the country.

CNPF said the deal will cover the purchase of assets and intellectual property related to the manufacturing of Ligo’s product lineup.

“We are deeply humbled that the Tung family has entrusted this brand to our company, and we shall do our utmost to honor this legacy brand and continue its heritage,” said Po.

CNPF’s brands include Century Tuna, 555, Blue Bay, and Fresca.

CNPF, however, did not indicate if the acquisition deals needed to have a green light from the country’s anti-trust body, the Philippine Competition Commission, which are mandated to sign off on mergers and acquisitions deals in the Philippines if they pass certain market thresholds.