Business / Companies

Goubuli prepares to put big dough into expansion

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-01-10 08:07

Goubuli prepares to put big dough into expansion

The Goubuli Group, Chinese eatery giant renowned for its steamed dumplings, announced plans to purchase a US cafe chain in the first half of this year. Photo taken on April 29, 2013. [Photo by Li Shengli / Asianewsphoto]

Goubuli prepares to put big dough into expansion

An eatery giant known for its steamed stuffed buns, and with an ambitious expansion plan to buy a United States coffee chain, is joining a growing number of Chinese enterprises in going global.

Goubuli Group, a renowned Chinese food corporation based in North China's Tianjin, announced on Thursday that it plans to buy a US cafe chain company in the first half of the year.

If completed, the deal will help the dumpling group - also known as Go Believe - to acquire hundreds of stores in more than 40 countries and regions in Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia, Geng Jing, deputy general manager of the company, told China Daily on Thursday.

Geng declined to specify the targeted brand, nor did she reveal details on how the acquisition process is going.

But she did say that the two companies have reached "an initial agreement" and will iron out the wrinkles in coming months.

Geng said the company expects to win support from the Tianjin Commerce Committee, a governmental review that is needed before a purchase can be made.

If completed, the deal would mark the biggest overseas acquisition in China's catering industry, Geng said.

According to a statement provided by the company, Zhang Yansen, chairman of Goubuli Group, said the acquisition will enable Goubuli, which also is preparing to be listed on the A-share stock market, to promote high-quality Chinese cuisine overseas through the coffee chain's existing network.

"It can reduce the difficulties of overseas expansion and help the company adjust more quickly to local markets," he said.

The time-honored Chinese food items made headlines recently, following President Xi Jinping's unexpected visit late last month to Qingfeng Steamed Stuffed Bun Restaurant, where he had a lunch of six stuffed buns with a dish of vegetables and other local delicacies.

Qingfeng, a Beijing-based chain famous for steamed buns, has seen hundreds of diners rush to order the same menu, which has been tagged the "Xi Jinping combo".

The overseas expansion plans of Goubuli, which was established in 1858 and headquartered in the port city of Tianjin, have gained momentum in recent years.

After opening a branch in Japan in 2011, it announced a plan to partner with Singapore-based food maker Tee Yih Jia in October last year to sell Goubuli products in more than 50 Asia-Pacific supermarkets.

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