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Max's inks deal to sell hotel unit.

Four years after diversifying into the hospitality space, leading casual dining operator Max's Group Inc. (MGI) is selling out of this fledgling business to focus on core restaurant operations.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, MGI said it had signed a deal to sell wholly owned subsidiary Room Ventures Corp., operator of the 59-room, 12-story Meranti Hotel in Quezon City.

'Our decision to divest from Room Ventures Corp. represents another step in our efforts to make MGI more streamlined, cost effective, and focused on its core business,' MGI president and chief executive officer Robert Trota said.

Meranti Hotel was opened in 2015 beside MGI's flagship restaurant on Scout Tuazon in Quezon City to complement the requirements of the site as an events venue.

But MGI said that as it 'bolsters its authority in the casual dining market, it is dedicated to enhancing the efficiencies and systems of its restaurant operations.'

MGI has yet to disclose who will buy the hotel business.

At present, MGI's store count totals 706 branches, with 59 across various territories in North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Established in 1945, the group's brands include Max's Restaurant, Pancake House, Yellow Cab Pizza, Krispy Kreme, Jamba Juice, Max's Corner Bakery, Teriyaki Boy, Dencio's, Sizzlin' Steak, Maple, Kabisera, Le Coeur De France and Singkit.

MGI is henceforth focusing its resources on its core businesses.

It earlier disclosed a P1-billion investment in a new food manufacturing and distribution center in Cavite to support its continuous store expansion.

The group has planned to breach the 1,000-store network by 2020. Of these, 200 will be located overseas.

But while scaling up is part of the strategy, MGI believes it's more important for the group to ensure the quality and profitability of each store.

Also, by 2021, MGI aims to increase the share of its franchised network to total stores to 70 percent from 60 percent.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 29, 2019
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