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Katrina enters JV with Ajisen China to expand So Pho brand in China, Hong Kong

Singapore’s food and beverage company Katrina Group announced today that it has entered into a subscription and shareholder’s agreement with Big Benefit Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ajisen (China) Holdings.

The deal will see Katrina holding a 30 percent stake in the joint-venture company which manages and operates snack bars, cafes, restaurants and other food services serving Vietnamese-style dishes under the brand – So Pho in Hong Kong and China.

Alan Goh, the Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of Katrina said, “We are excited to partner Ajisen China, which is one of the largest and most successful restaurant chains in China. This collaboration will extend our geographical reach in China and help us enter the Hong Kong market.”

“It is a bold step in the right direction in further strengthening Katrina as a regional F&B group. We look forward to a long-lasting partnership with Ajisen China and further opportunities to come,” he added.

HKEX-listed Ajisen China is one of the leading restaurant chain operators with a retail network of close to 700 restaurants in 120 cities and 30 provinces in China and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Katrina Group is a food and beverage business specializing in multi-cuisine concepts and restaurant operations. It owns and operates 33 restaurants in Singapore under nine different brands including Bali Thai and Streats.

In terms of funding, Katrina and Ajisen China will provide a working capital for So Pho International of up to US$450,000 and US$1.05 million respectively, through interest-free shareholder’s loan.

Katrina will also trademark So Pho International as a sole and exclusive right to use, sub-license and franchise the trade name of “So Pho” and associated logos, designs and trade names in mainland China.

Wai Poon, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ajisen China said, “We are glad that this collaboration has come to fruition. With our strong track record and Katrina’s brand development capabilities, we look forward to growing the “So Pho” brand in China and Hong Kong to build mutual success for both Ajisen China and Katrina.”

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