Japan Foods enters joint venture to launch Konjiki Hototogisu brand in Hong Kong

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Japan Foods entered a joint venture with Ajisen Investments (International) to operate Japanese ramen restaurants under the one-Michelin-star brand Konjiki Hototogisu in Hong Kong, the Singapore-based Japanese restaurant operator said Thursday.

Under the deal, Japan Foods will acquire 30 percent of Wakayama International from Ajisen Investments for US$15,000, or around S$20,400, Japan Foods said in a filing to SGX. Ajisen Investments will hold 70 percent of Wakayama, the filing said.

Ajisen Investments and Japan Foods will then each provide a shareholders’ loan to Wakayama of HK$3.5 million (around S$612,000) and HK$1.5 million, respectively, to pay fees and royalties for the use of the Konjiki Hototogisu brand and for working capital, the filing said.

“We are very excited about launching the ‘Konjiki Hototogisu’ ramen brand in Hong Kong. In Singapore, the response to the brand has been very encouraging since it was introduced in June 2018 and we now have four stores across the island in just over a year,” Takahashi Kenichi, executive chairman and CEO of Japan Foods, said in the statement.  “We are optimistic that the Hong Kong market will respond the
same way to the brand.”

Kenichi said the first outlet is expected to open by the end of the year.

Ajisen Investments is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Ajisen (China) Holdings, which operates Ajisen Ramen outlets and other brands in Hong Kong and China, the filing said.

Japan Foods currently has a tie-up with Ajisen China to operate and manaage the Menya Musashi brand restaurants in Hong Kong, the filing said.

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