Lester Yu remains hungry for acquisitions, takes over Chinese casual dining restaurant

Chinese businessman Lester Yu’s Fruitas Holdings Inc. (FRUIT) has enhanced its brand portfolio with the acquisition of the 72-year old Ling Nam, which has three branches in Metro Manila.

In a regulatory filing, FRUIT said its wholly owned subsidiary Soykingdom approved the acquisition of 100 percent of LN Banaue Inc., which operates the Ling Nam restaurants, from Ling Nam Wanton Parlor and Noodle Factory and Peter K. Fung.

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Built in the 1950’s, Ling Nam is known for its delicious, quality and authentic Cantonese dishes such as noodles, congee, and other dimsum products. It is also known for its signature Beef Wanton Noodles and other hot and tasty meals served freshly cooked in its restaurants in Banawe, Quezon City, and T. Alonzo, Manila.

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FRUIT, the holding company of Yu’s food and beverage kiosk business, comprising over 25 brands, said the transaction is subject to completion of conditions including full inventory of assets to be acquired.

Yu expects to sign the deeds of assignment and deeds of sale within the month.

Under the deal, Soykingdom will pay 60 percent of acquisition cost by completion date while the balance will be paid in installments until March 2023.

The purchase price is below 10 percent of FRUIT’s assets and book value as of March 31.

FRUIT incurred a net loss of P16.3 million last year, lower than the P48.1 million loss recorded in 2020. Revenues grew 23.5 percent to P1.1 billion, driven by the opening and reopening of stores, lower interest expenses and higher gross profit margin.

As of end-December 2021, FRUIT had 720 stores nationwide, serving consumers with fresh fruit shakes and juices, lemonade, coolers, milk tea, desserts, meat-filled pastries, soya-based products, baked goods and lechon.

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Among its brands include Buko Loco, Buko ni Fruitas, Juice Avenue, Johnn Lemon, Black Pearl, Tea Rex, De Original Jamaican Pattie Shop and Juice Bar, The Mango Farm, Babot’s Farm, Soy & Bean, Balai Pandesal, and Sabroso Lechon

The group also operates two food parks which are both located in Quezon City.