MANILA - The Max's Group of Companies, famous for its chain of fried chicken restaurants, has acquired Lorenzo-owned Pancake House.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Pancake House Holdings Inc. (PHHI) said it has agreed to sell all of its shares in the restaurant chain Pancake House Inc. to Max's Group at P15 per share, valuing the company at P3.9 billion.
The price represents a premium of about 7% over the 90-day volume weighted average price of Pancake House shares traded at the stock exchange.
PHHI is the principal shareholder of Pancake House Inc., with a 60.37% stake.
The Pancake House group, founded in 1974, has 105 outlets of its flagship brand Pancake House. The group has nearly 300 outlets of other brands such as Dencio's, Teriyaki Boy, Sizzlin' Pepper Steak, Le Coeur De France, Maple and Yellow Cab.
Max's Group will launch a tender offer to acquire up to 100% of Pancake House shares in January, as a condition to its acquisition. The tender offer will be made to all shareholders of Pancake House at the same price per share.
PHHI chairman and president Martin Lorenzo said the offer from Max's was "superior" to others it had received, including one from a foreign entity that would have resulted in Pancake House going private.
"We believed that it was the Max's Group offer that will make us sleep better at night... It puts Pancake House in a better position to continue providing great experiences to customers and perform strongly in an increasingly competitive casual dining market," Lorenzo said.
At the same time, Robert Trota, chairman of Max's (Ermita) Inc., said the group plans to keep Pancake House as a listed company.
"Both companies share a long history of brand recognition and innovation, customer loyalty and proven track record for expansion. We are confident that this transaction will reinforce the values of both Pancake House and Max's in servicing our customers," he said.
Max's group, which started in 1945, now has over 150 stores in the Philippines and overseas. Its founding families are also the same pioneers that brought the popular international brands Krispy Kreme and Jamba Juice to the country.
BPI Capital Corp. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the Max's Group for the transaction.