It's official: Jollibee gobbles up Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 24) — Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) can officially call American brand The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as its own after completing the ₱18-billion buyout.

Jollibee announced Tuesday that it has completed its acquisition plan for the global coffee chain based in Los Angeles, California. The merger has cleared government approvals and fulfilled closing conditions, which were set back in July.

JFC acquired Coffee Bean for a price tag of $350 million (roughly ₱18.3 billion), with an agreement that the fast-food giant will not be taking any debts to go with the deal. Instead, the hot-off-the-press purchase is financed through bridge loans secured by Jollibee Worldwide Pte Ltd.

Coffee Bean, owned by International Coffee & Tea, LLC operates 1,180 outlets across 27 countries, with 150 located in the Philippines.

Coffee Bean will be the second-largest business in the JFC group after its flagship brand, Jollibee. Coffee Bean suffered a $21.04-million loss last year, after 2017's $26.75-million loss.

READ: Jollibee income slumps in Q2

Coffee Bean is seen adding 14 percent to JFC's global sales and add boost store network by a quarter. It will likewise "bring JFC closer to its vision to be one of the top 5 restaurant companies in the world in terms of market capitalization," the company previously said.

Currently, it owns Highlands Coffee which is focused on Vietnam. Gobbling up Coffee Bean would sweeten JFC's café business segment, with its share to total sales seen rising to 14 percent.

JFC counts 3,226 outlets in the Philippines and 1,437 stores abroad. Other brands under JFC are Greenwich, Mang Inasal, Red Ribbon, Burger King, and Chowking in the local market. Jollibee previously acquired global brands like Hard Rock Cafe, Smashburger, and Pho 24.

The listed firm reported the official buyout just before closing time of trading. JFC shares closed 0.09 percent weaker on Tuesday afternoon at ₱220 apiece.