Filipino Jollibee may bid for UK's Pret A Manger

A Jollibee store in Manila in 2015. As of end-May, Jollibee Foods had 3,555 stores globally across 12 brands in 17 countries.
A Jollibee store in Manila in 2015. As of end-May, Jollibee Foods had 3,555 stores globally across 12 brands in 17 countries.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

(REUTERS) - Jollibee Foods Corp, popular in the Philippines for its sweet-style spaghetti and fried chicken, is exploring a bid for Britain's Pret A Manger which could value the upscale sandwich chain at over $1 billion (S$1.34 billion), sources familiar with the matter have said. 

Coffee and fried chicken - not a typical combination.

But for the Filipino Jollibee Foods - it could be a match made in food heaven.

Famed for its sweet-style spaghetti, the group is reportedly exploring a bid for Britain's Pret A Manger.

It's thought the potential deal values the sandwich chain at over $1 billion, - based on its 2016 core earnings of just over 93 million pounds.

Jollibee has a huge following in the Philippines for fast-food meals.

While Pret has built its reputation selling organic coffee and wholesome sandwiches to office workers in Britain, Hong Kong and New York.

Sources say Jollibee has been holding talks with an advisor.

A successful bid would mark the biggest overseas deal to date by the Filipino company.

And potentially one of the largest ever from the Philippines.