Big Plans in Store: Fruitas Buys Legacy Chinese Restaurant Ling Nam

Fruitas Holdings Inc. is taking over the 72-year-old Ling Nam restaurant chain—with plans to turn it into a major dining chain.

Known for its small-format food kiosks, Fruitas Holdings Inc. houses numerous brands under its wing—from Fruitas juice outlets to De Original Jamaican Pattie Shop, as well as Soy and Bean, among others. But instead of starting a whole new business concept of its own, the conglomerate has set its sights on a business with a legacy for itself: Ling Nam.

A family-owned Chinese restaurant that started in the 1950s, Ling Nam amassed a loyal following for its classic Cantonese-style dishes like beef wonton noodles and dim sum products. Currently, it has 3 outlets in Metro Manila (Manila, Quezon City, and San Juan) and a restaurant over in Baguio City and Puerto Princesa, Palawan. With 72 years of experience to show, this legacy restaurant shows promise as Fruitas’ next business venture.

Continuing the Legacy

In a stock exchange filing on Friday, July 1, Lester Yu—President, CEO, and founder of Fruitas Holdings Inc.—said that the company agreed to acquire 100% of LN Banaue Inc., the company that operates Ling Nam restaurants. In fact, Yu told Inquirer that he had big plans in store for the restaurant group. “We acquire companies and brands that are scaleable,” Yu said in a text message on Friday.

“Our plan is not yet fixed but I can see a Ling Nam in every major city of the country, at least 100 stores in the medium to long term,” he added, further explaining that his plans would include a combination of smaller outlets and full-service restaurants.

The acquisition by Fruitas—via subsidiary Soykingdom Inc.—is expected to be completed within this month. According to the company, both parties signed an initial agreement, which was subjected to completion conditions including a full inventory of assets to be acquired and various deeds of assignment and sale. However, the company did not disclose the acquisition price, as it was below 10% of its assets and book value, as of March 31 this year.

Earlier, Fruitas recorded a PHP6 million profit from January to March, thereby reversing losses of PHP 16 million last year. Revenues also rose by 26% (PHP 330.5 million), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization reached PHP 53 million. Fruitas further added that its first-quarter profit margins have improved from 61.% last year to 62.2% percent.


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