SET-listed Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), the agro-industrial and food conglomerate, plans to boost its stake in Korean restaurant operator Dak Galbi Group to 60% by next year.
The company is also interested in listing Dak Galbi Group on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) in the future for business expansion, said Prasit Boondoungprasert, chief executive and acting chief operating officer for the sausage and ready-meal business at CPF.
Dak Galbi Group operates Korean restaurants that offer stir-fry meals cooked in front of customers. There are 10 branches in the Bangkok area.
In April, CPF, through indirect subsidiary CPF Restaurant and Food Chain (CPF RF), acquired a 41.35% stake in Dak Galbi Group. CPF RF agreed to subscribe to newly issued ordinary shares of Dak Galbi Group for a total value of 55 million baht.
In addition to Korean food, Dak Galbi plans to incorporate another Asian cuisine into its new menu near the end of this year, said Preeyawan Tantasuralerk, managing director at Dak Galbi Group.
The company has launched three Wok Station restaurants with an Asian street food theme and expects to expand to 10 branches by year-end, said Ms Preeyawan.
There is a plan to launch Wok Station restaurants in China with cashless payment as the primary payment mode, while Australia and the US are also target markets, she said.
CPF supports Thai startups operating in the food and restaurant business to overcome obstacles and expand their business operations, said Mr Prasit.
"The company is considering supporting startups with ambition and determination to build successful restaurants with a vision to expand branches domestically and internationally," he said.
The company plans to assess investment in around 20-30 food and restaurant startups per year.
"CPF is ready to lend our support in terms of technology and operating systems, as well as financial support for business expansion plans," said Mr Prasit.
CPF's total revenue in this year's first quarter was 125 billion baht, up 4% year-on-year, mainly thanks to increased sales from international operations. Revenue from international operations reached 83.4 billion baht, 67% of the total, while domestic generated 41.9 billion or 33%.
First-quarter net profit was 4.5 billion baht, up 40% year-on-year.
CPF shares closed yesterday on the SET at 28 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 1.1 billion baht.