Monday, October 11, 2010

Mang Inasal Plans to Go Public


One of the things I wanted to try for the first time before I left for Hong Kong was eat at Mang Inasal. Yes, for some reason, I hadn't had a chance to try the fare of this highly talked about fast food chain. Maybe it's because my constant struggle against weight gain has rendered the "all you can rice" promo not as effective for me as it is for the millions who regularly dine in the restaurant's (now) 300 branches.

Mang Inasal's story will always be an interesting topic to discuss over a few drinks; I distinctly remember how, just a few days before I left, my friends and I talked about Jollibee's rumored offer to acquire the business for 1 billion pesos, and how Edgar "Injap" Sia, II nonchalantly turned down the offer. But the story did not end there: from the unreliable accounts of faceless sources, Sia made a counteroffer of 5 billion pesos (or was it 10 billion?) which, we can safely presume, Jollibee promptly rejected. (It was right around this time when I realized that the most plausible reason why Jollibee has been very aggressively promoting its chicken barbecue line was that the competition posed by the rapidly-expanding Mang Inasal has been mounting just as quickly.)

So for Mang Inasal fanboys and fangirls out there, here's your chance to take part in the action as the barbecue chain pursues an initial public offering in the first quarter of 2011. According to Sia, the public listing would serve as a means to raise more capital and share profits with employees and other investors. Personally, I'm not really sure how much further Mang Inasal can expand, given the already saturated market for fast food restaurants in the country; in other words, I highly doubt that the chain's next 100 restaurants will experience the same kind of success and profitability as its last 100, which means continued aggressive expansion makes little sense, and so is the need for additional capital. Still, it would be very interesting how this will play out and how the public will value the company. Wouldn't you also want to know who the greater fool is? Sia for rejecting 1 billion pesos, or Jollibee for rejecting the 5 billion-peso counteroffer?
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