REAL ESTATE

Tycoons Tony Tan Caktiong, Edgar Sia Team Up To Form The Philippines’ First Industrial REIT

Billionaire Tony Tan Caktiong—the controlling shareholder of Philippines fast-food giant Jollibee Foods—has again teamed up with real estate tycoon Edgar Sia, with their latest plan about creating the Philippines’ first industrial real estate investment trust that will be listed next year.

The duo are joining the country’s biggest property developers—including Filinvest Land, Megaworld and Robinsons Land—which are preparing to raise some 69 billion pesos ($1.4 billion) from initial public offerings in the coming months.

The two tycoons are already partners in DoubleDragon, which is partly owned by Tan Caktiong. The developer raised 14.7 billion pesos from the market debut of office landlord DDMP REIT in March.

In a statement, Sia’s DoubleDragon said its industrial property leasing subsidiary CentralHub Industrial Centers signed an agreement of almost 4 billion pesos with Jollibee.

Under the agreement, Jollibee will inject 16.4 hectares (164,000 square meters) of industrial properties currently used as commissaries in exchange for shares in CentralHub, DoubleDragon said. 

Including the Jollibee assets, CentralHub will have an industrial portfolio totalling 39.8 hectares, making it the country’s largest industrial REIT. These properties are suitable as warehouses, commissaries, cold storage facilities and logistics distribution centers.

“CentralHub (will) become a major recurring income contributor to DoubleDragon,” said Sia, 44, DoubleDragon chairman.

An aspiring architect, Sia dropped out of college to set up barbeque chicken restaurant chain Mang Inasal, which he sold to Jollibee in 2012. He took DoubleDragon public in 2014. With a net worth of $700 million, he was ranked No. 21 when the Philippines Rich List was published in September 2020.

The latest partnership with Sia will provide Jollibee a vehicle to raise funds to finance its expansion plans in the Philippines and overseas.   

“We will use the proceeds from the eventual IPO of CentralHub to finance real estate investments for our new stores and commissaries which we will convert again into more investments and shares in the REIT,” Tan Caktiong said in a separate statement. “Basically, the REIT will help continuously finance our future expansion.”

Tan Caktiong, 68, told the shareholders last month about plans to open 450 new stores this year and another 500 outlets next year in the Philippines and beyond.

Jollibee now operates more than 3,200 outlets in the Philippines and over 2,500 overseas—including U.S.-based chains Smashburger and Coffee Bean. He and his family were ranked the eleventh richest profile from the Philippines in the World Billionaire’s List published in April with a net worth of $2.4 billion.

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