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Minor (Thailand) Puts B12bn into Global Expansion

01 May 2018 - SET-listed Minor International (MINT), a hospitality, restaurant and lifestyle company, has set aside a combined 12 billion baht in capital expenditure for the next five years to expand its food business,excluding the growth of the Benihana restaurants it recently acquired. Paul Kenny, a Minor International director, said the company is committed to continuing expansion of all its brands across the portfolio.

"Minor's strategic plan is to grow our food business revenue by at least 10% over the next five years," said Mr Kenny, also chief executive of Minor Food Group.

Minor International announced on Friday that it had acquired a 75% stake of Benihana Holding Pte, which owns the Japanese-inspired teppanyaki restaurant chain.

Benihana pioneered the communal dining concept, combining dazzling performance and teppanyaki cooking of fresh ingredients in front of diners.

Benihana owns two restaurants in London and franchises 19 restaurants in 12 countries, including Britain, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Canada, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Thailand and Indonesia.

"We're interested in the Benihana teppanyaki concept because Benihana is not just a normal teppanyaki restaurant, but also a unique dining experience with an entertaining cooking show," Mr Kenny said. "Moreover, the brand caters to millennials and families, which are high-growth segments."

After the transaction, Minor International will be entitled to the global trademark and intellectual property rights of Benihana in Asia (excluding Japan), the Middle East, Europe, Australia, Africa, Canada and Mexico.

Dillip Rajakarier, chief operating officer of Minor International, said he was excited to welcome the iconic restaurant chain to Minor's portfolio.

"We believe the Benihana brand and its restaurant network are highly strategic to us as we continue to drive scalable expansion of our international businesses," he said. "The company looks forward to taking advantage of this opportunity to cement its leading position in the global restaurant industry."

According to Mr Kenny, the latest transaction represents a significant milestone in Minor Food's global expansion.

"We can leverage on our current platform in the UK to expand the business further," Mr Kenny said.

He said the company expects to double the number of teppanyaki restaurant outlets over the next 4-5 years, with the number of outlets in Thailand to double to six outlets.

Minor has operated Benihana restaurants for 20 years via franchise.

MINT shares closed Friday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 40 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 145 million baht.

Bangkok Post Business