MANILA -- Leading fast food chain Jollibee Foods Corporation now holds a controlling stake in a Chinese restaurant as it seeks to expand its presence in Asia’s economic giant.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Jollibee said it acquired 55 percent of Guangxi San Ping Wang Food and Beverage Management Co. Ltd., the operator of the popular San Pin Wang beef noodle chain.

The 30-million-renminbi (US$4.5 million) deal was sealed after the partners signed a memorandum of agreement last April 30.

“As joint venture partners, Jollibee and Guangxi will also place additional investments totaling 20-million-renminbi on this fast food chain in anticipation of its expansion. The joint venture is expected to be operational within the first quarter of 2011,” Jollibee said.

San Pin Wang is a fast food chain selling Chinese cuisine, primarily low-priced beef noodles. It has 34 stores located mostly in Nanning City, the capital of the southern province of Guang Xi.

Last week, Jollibee said it is planning to acquire 70 percent of another food outlet Mang Inasal for P3 billion in a bid to shore up earnings by at least seven percent. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)