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Jollibee Foods Corp. acquires final stake in Smashburger

Jollibee Foods Corp. acquires final stake in Smashburger

A Jollibee veteran is tapped as president of the 342-unit burger chain

Jollibee’s pursuit of Smashburger is complete.

After taking big stakes in Smashburger over the course of three years, Asia's largest restaurant operator, Jollibee Foods Corp., said it has acquired the remaining 15 percent stake in the Denver-based better burger chain.

Jollibee, based in the Philippines, operates more than 4,300 restaurants around the world under various banners including its namesake fried chicken fast food chain.

The company did not disclose the value of deal, which also includes a leadership change for the fast-casual chain founded 11 years ago in Denver by Tom Ryan.

Ryan will remain CEO. However, he will take on the additional title of chief product development advisor of JFC Global.

Jollibee veteran executive Jose "Pepot" Miñana has been tapped as Smashburger’s new president. He will oversee the daily operations of the company, which operates more than 350 corporate and franchise stores in 38 states. Miñana was most recently president of JFC North America.

As chief product development advisor, Ryan “will focus on strengthening taste and quality aspects across key JFC brands as well as enhancing JFC brands' relevance across global markets,” the company said.

The ownership change comes three years after Jollibee took a 40 percent stake in Smashburger in a deal valued at $335 million. In February, Jollibee snapped up an additional 45 percent of Smashburger for $100 million.

Prior to the latest deal, Smashburger’s remaining 15 percent was owned by Black Shamrock Partners, a private equity firm formerly known as Consumer Concept Group & Affiliates.  The investment company, where Ryan is a partner, rebranded as Black Shamrock in August.

Rick Schaden, co-founder of Black Shamrock, said the company is “thrilled to complete this transaction with a global restaurant powerhouse.”

“We have no doubt that with their leadership, the brand will continue to succeed and grow for years to come,” said Schaden, who is also the founder of the Quiznos sandwich chain.

Black Shamrock also owns Tom's Urban, an “eatertainment” concept with five locations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Connecticut, Portland and Denver International Airport.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

Correction: December 17, 2018
This has been updated to reflect that the Denver location of Tom's Urban is now open.
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