Max's Group plans more acquisitions

By Richmond S. Mercurio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 29 2014 07:49 AM | Updated as of Dec 29 2014 03:49 PM

MANILA - After gobbling up its biggest rival in the casual dining full-service restaurant industry this year, Max’s Group Inc. is preparing its appetite for new acquisitions next year.

“We’re on the lookout,” Max’s Group director and chief finance officer Dave T. Fuentebella told The STAR in an interview.

“But getting big has a responsibility to it. We want to be the company with the most number of well-loved brands, but in the process of that, the people should also be getting better,” he said.

Since its incorporation in March 2000, the Max’s Group’s operating history has been characterized by a track record of developing, acquiring, and franchising restaurants under numerous well-known brands.

Among the local brands it acquired are Dencio’s and Yellow Cab, and recently, the Pancake House Group.

In a regulatory filing, Max’s Group said it intends to continue evaluating opportunities to enhance its current portfolio and continue to develop its current brand offerings for strategic expansion even after the acquisition of Pancake House.

Max’s Group was able to complete the acquisition of the Pancake House Group earlier this year, merging the two groups via a share-swap deal that resulted in the creation of a giant in the country’s casual dining segment.

“New brands, whether these are local brands that are available for acquisition by the company, foreign brands that are being offered for franchising, or brands that may be created by the company, will allow the company to reach out to new or underserved markets, reinvigorate and reinforce interest and loyalty to the company,” the merged entity of Pancake House Inc. and the Max’s Group of Companies said.

Max’s Group said both foreign and local brands are eyed to be added to its current portfolio depending on “market trends, readiness and acceptability of the target market, market potential and forecasted growth, as well as fit of the target brand into the company’s current offerings and corporate culture.”

The firm said it shall likewise evaluate and consider brands targeting the middle to upper market segments to address the demand for premium products and in line with the rising income of the middle class.

“Our disposition is not like a pacman where we just want to gobble everybody up. There still has to be some sense of competition, some sense of collaboration, and some sense of partnership so that we all benefit from each other,” Max’s Group director and chief marketing officer Jim T. Fuentebella said.

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