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Fruitas acquires bakery Balai Pandesal

BALAI Pandesal will house Fruitas’ existing food and beverage product lines. — FACEBOOK.COM/BALAI-PANDESAL

FRUITAS Holdings, Inc. has forged an agreement with Balai Pandesal Corp. that will allow a subsidiary of the listed operator of food and beverage kiosks to acquire the bakery’s trademark, recipes, and some of its equipment and inventory, among others.

“We are excited about the prospects for Balai as pandesal is another Filipino daily diet staple that we want to supply and increase our market penetration,” Fruitas President and Chief Executive Officer Lester C. Yu said in a statement on Thursday.

Balai Pandesal launched its first store in 2012, offering a selection of baked goods from bread products, cakes, to bread spreads, as well as ice cream and taho (soy or beancurd pudding) in some shops.

Both parties are finalizing the agreement as well as its financial closing, which is expected to be completed by the end of June.

Once Fruitas takes hold of Balai Pandesal, the bakery will be given the opportunity to be more competitive. The transaction will also accelerate Fruitas’ expansion into the bakery sector.

Fruitas will have five Balai Pandesal Metro Manila stores franchised by the time it completes the acquisition.

The company aims to further expand the bakery store’s network to at least 20 by the end of the year. Its near-term goal is to put up 100 Balai Pandesal stores in “high-density residential communities.”

Balai Pandesal will also house Fruitas’ existing food and beverage product lines.

“This will help us continue to pivot our business and increase our store network presence in local communities,” Mr. Yu said.

The company said Fruitas’ total community stores breached 50 this month, having opened shops in Meycauayan in Bulacan, Marikina, and Las Piñas.

It also aims to increase the network of community stores carrying the Babot’s Farm and Soy & Bean brands to 100 by yearend.

“The performance of our community stores has exhibited more resilience and growth beyond our initial expectations,” Mr. Yu said.

On Thursday, shares of Fruitas at the stock exchange went up by 4.41% to close at P1.42 each. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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