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Katrina partners Ajisen China to push 'So Pho' brand in China, HK

FOOD and beverage company Katrina Group has entered into a subscription and shareholders' agreement with Big Benefit Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ajisen (China) Holdings.

Katrina will hold a 30 per cent stake in a joint-venture company, called So Pho International, which will manage and operate restaurants, snack bars, cafes and other food services serving Vietnamese-style dishes under the "So Pho" brand in China and Hong Kong.

Katrina and Ajisen China will provide funding for working capital purposes for So Pho International of up to US$450,000 and US$1.05 million, respectively, by way of interest-free shareholder's loans as and when required by So Pho International.

Katrina will also grant So Pho International a sole and exclusive right to use, sub-license and franchise the trade name of "So Pho" and the associated trademarks, logos, designs and trade names in China and Hong Kong.

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Wai Poon , founder, chairman and CEO of Ajisen China, said: "We are glad that this collaboration has come into fruition. With our strong track record and Katrina's brand development capabilities, we look forward to growing the 'So Pho' brand in China and Hong Kong to bring mutual success for both Ajisen China and Katrina."

Ajisen China is one of the leading fast casual restaurant chain operators in China and Hong Kong, with a retail network of close to 700 restaurants in 120 cities and 30 provinces in China and Hong Kong.

Alan Goh, founder, CEO and executive chairman of Katrina, said: "We are excited to partner Ajisen China, which is one of the largest and most successful restaurant chains in China. This collaboration will extend our geographical reach in China and help us enter the Hong Kong market."

"It is a bold step in the right direction in further strengthening Katrina as a regional F&B group. We look forward to a long-lasting partnership with Ajisen China and further opportunities to come," added Mr Goh.