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ST Group Food inks master franchise deal for NeNe Chicken in New Zealand

NEWLY-LISTED food and beverage (F&B) franchisee ST Group Food Industries Holdings has secured exclusive rights to the NeNe Chicken brand in New Zealand, it said in a bourse filing on Thursday evening after the market closed.

ST Group entered into a master franchise agreement with Hyein Foods on Thursday for the exclusive rights to the South Korean fried-chicken restaurant franchise.

The agreement is for an initial term of 10 years, with an option to renew for a further 10 years.

This NeNe Chicken deal will expand Australia-headquartered ST Group’s business in New Zealand, where it already has 15 outlets under the PappaRich, Gong Cha and Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart brands.

As at July 4, ST Group has a total of 26 NeNe Chicken outlets in Australia and Malaysia. These comprise seven group-owned outlets and 19 outlets owned and operated by ST Group’s sub-franchisees and sub-licensees.

The master franchise agreement comes just one day after ST Group’s debut on the Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) Catalist board.

It raised S$9.6 million through its initial public offering (IPO), by placing 30.1 million shares and issuing 6.9 million new shares to cornerstone investors.

ST Group closed its first day of trading at S$0.28 on Wednesday, up two cents or 7.7 per cent from its IPO price S$0.26.

On Thursday, its shares closed at S$0.275, down 0.5 cent.

ST Group’s portfolio comprises six internationally popular brands – PappaRich, NeNe Chicken, Gong Cha, Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart, Ippudo, and iDarts – as well as two of its own brand concepts, PAFU and KURIMU.

Its outlets are mainly in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the UK – with none in Singapore.