Jollibee eyes Philippines’ first industrial REIT

The fast food conglomerate partnered with DoubleDragon Properties Corporation.

Jollibee Foods Corporation has partnered with real estate development company DoubleDragon Properties Corporation to form the country’s first industrial real estate investment trust (REIT).

The listed companies signed a PHP 3.97-billion binding agreement to expand DoubleDragon’s leasing subsidiary CentralHub Industrial Centers, which has a portfolio of warehouse complexes for warehousing, commissaries, cold storage facilities, and logistics distribution centers.

Under the deal, JFC is set to acquire 1.56 billion common shares of CentralHub and infuse its 16.4 hectares of industrial properties currently used as commissaries, which will bring the leasing firm's total industrial land portfolio to 39.8 hectares.

“We are excited to work together with Jollibee in developing CentralHub into the largest landlord of industrial warehouses in the country. We see CentralHub to become a major recurring income contributor to DoubleDragon,” Edgar “Injap” Sia II, chairman of DoubleDragon, said.

“JFC’s plan is to reduce assets tied to real estate properties by converting some of them into securities in REIT and by selling others directly to third parties,” JFC chairman and founder Tony Tan Caktiong said in a separate disclosure to the country’s local stock exchange.

“We will use the proceeds from the eventual IPO of CentralHub to finance real estate investments for our new stores and commissaries which we will convert again into more investments and shares in the REIT.”

Tan Caktiong, who also serves as co-chairman in DoubleDragon, told JFC’s shareholders last month about plans to open 450 new stores this year and another 500 outlets next year.

Jollibee currently operates more than 3,200 outlets in the Philippines and over 2,500 overseas.

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