HONG KONG SAR - 1 November 2023 - Tam Jai International Co. Limited ("TJI", "Tam Jai International", or the "Company", and together with its subsidiaries, the "Group"; HKEX stock code: 2217), one of the leading and renowned restaurant groups in Hong Kong, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a joint venture ("JV") agreement with ST Group Food Industries Holdings Limited ("ST Group"; SGX:DRX) to expand into Australia, marking the Group's first foray into a Western market and developing its business with a franchise model. Separately, the Group announced a potential franchise partnership with a subsidiary of the Philippine conglomerate, Suyen Corporation, regarding the proposed entry into the market in the Philippines.
Venture into Australia through JV and Potential Franchise
A joint venture company ("JV Company"), which is 49% owned by TJI and 51% owned by ST Group, has been established and the JV Company will be granted the master franchise rights to operate restaurants and associated delivery services under one of the Group's brands in Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the JV Company will be able to enter into further sub-franchise agreements with other partners to facilitate the Group's expansion. TJI also retains the right to open and operate self-operated restaurants in the two countries under the TamJai Yunnan Mixian (譚仔雲南米線) and TamJai SamGor Mixian (譚仔三哥米線) brands.
Listed on the Singapore Exchange in 2019, ST Group is an established food and beverage ("F&B") group headquartered in Australia. It holds the exclusive franchise and licence rights to a diversified portfolio of nine internationally popular brands, including "IPPUDO", "Gong Cha", "PappaRich", "NeNe Chicken", "Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart", etc, with a network of 173 outlets across Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
ST Group has a proven track record in the F&B markets in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. By leveraging its solid infrastructure and local know-how, TJI will be able to enter the Australian market at lower initial investment and set up costs, along with reduced risks. ST Group's expertise in supply chain management, central kitchen and logistics support, identification of restaurant premises and locations, local government liaison and licensing, regulatory compliances, as well as people management, will be instrumental in TJI's successful entry. The adoption of JV and franchising arrangements will also enable the Group to promote a more scalable business model for rapid expansion and market penetration through ST Group's established franchise network.
Potential Franchise in the Philippines
In August 2023, the Group entered into a memorandum of understanding and heads of terms with BVCUISINE Inc. ("BVCUISINE"), a subsidiary of the Philippine conglomerate, Suyen Corporation, in relation to the proposed entry into the Philippine market by way of a franchise arrangement. The Group will grant an exclusive license to BVCUISINE to set up and operate restaurants under the Group's brands in the Philippines.
Suyen Corporation is a Philippine conglomerate that has a strong presence in the fashion and retail sector. It also operates business in the F&B industry, managing the Philippine operations of the Japanese chains "Marugame Udon", "Maisen" and "St. Marc Cafe", as well as other brands such as "Patchi" and "Paul Boulangerie".
Mr. Daren Lau, Chairman, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tam Jai International, said, "Building upon our investment and the development of a strengthened management team over the past year, we are thrilled to embark on an exciting new chapter for TJI with the introduction of a franchising model as we enter the inaugural Western market, Australia, and the Philippines. In particular, our JV partnership with ST Group, an experienced franchised F&B operator in Australia, not only paves the way for a successful and expedited expansion in Australia, but also establishes a strong foundation for future ventures into other Western markets, propelling our mission to bring 'Tam Jai Taste' to the world."
About Tam Jai International Co. Limited (HKEX: 2217)
As one of the leading restaurant groups in Hong Kong, TJI has rapidly expanded its network to over 200 stores in markets such as Mainland China, Singapore and Japan, with plans to enter the Australian and the Philippine markets through franchise partnerships. The Group's portfolio of distinguished brands includes TamJai Yunnan Mixian (譚仔雲南米線) and TamJai SamGor Mixian (譚仔三哥米線). With highly standardised operations, an innovative spirit and an efficient management model, the Group is committed to providing customers with a quality yet affordable dining experience while aiming to bring "Tam Jai Taste" and its distinctive food culture worldwide.
The Group has been listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (stock code: 02217.HK) since October 2021.