BIZ BUZZ: Wanted: Fruitas business partners

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If you’re a daring entrepreneur looking to accelerate the growth of your business, the House of Fruitas —which has made a name for itself in strategic acquisitions in the food and beverage space —may be the answer.

Biz Buzz learned that the firm founded by businessman Lester Yu is offering business owners a unique opportunity to achieve the full potential of their companies.

House of Fruitas is apparently actively searching for firms that align with its principles and growth ambitions. And due to its history of successful acquisitions and partnerships that are centered on adding value, House of Fruitas —which started out as a humble buco juice seller—may be the ideal venue for small business owners considering the next phase of their growth.

In fact, the company’s mergers and acquisitions war chest is now said to stand at over P1 billion, this threshold being breached thanks to the latest addition of Philtrust Bank to its roster of financial backers. And in the months prior to this, Fruitas Holdings Inc. renewed or secured new credit facilities from the likes of BDO Unibank, China Banking Corp., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Asia United Bank, the Bank of Makati, the Philippine Bank of Communications, Philippine Business Bank, Philippine National Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Robinsons Bank, Security Bank and Union Bank of the Philippines.

So far, House of Fruitas’ track record speaks for itself. “De Original Jamaican Pattie,” which was successfully expanded to over 160 stores today, is one of the group’s best acquisitions. Another well-known brand is Sabroso Lechon, which delivers whole roasted pigs and is offered in five-star hotels. One of the most recent acquisitions, Balai Pandesal, has already spread outside Metro Manila and is currently offered in many of the country’s main cities. Meanwhile, the legacy Ling Nam Noodle Factory and Wanton Parlour brand has been successfully updated with a more contemporary look while maintaining its rich history.

“We are also willing to recharge legacy companies so that the younger generation would be aware of their products,” Fuitas’ Yu said.

So which firm will join its growing portfolio? Abangan!

—Daxim L. Lucas

Hortaleza returns to personal care

Since exiting Splash Corp. in July of 2019, the Hortaleza Group of Companies led by chair and CEO Rolando Hortaleza is preparing for a big comeback in the personal and beauty care industry with the end of its noncompete agreement with Splash-Wipro by May 2024.

Tasked to take the group into its next stage of growth is Rico Dela Cruz as president and COO of the Ang Hortaleza Corp. and the second generation of the Hortaleza family led by Harvard-trained brothers Alfonso and Alexone.

Alfonso will be president and COO of Prime Global Finance Corp., which he helped grow into a leading fintech company for small and medium enterprises, while Alexone stays on as incumbent president and COO of Prime Global Corp., which is expanding its presence in the food condiments business.

Aside from growing the subsidiaries, the new leadership is gearing up for the reentry into the personal and beauty care sector where the Hortaleza group made a name for itself before venturing into other fields including the hospitality and food and beverage sectors.

In the works are new brands and trade innovations informed by the long experience of the group in the sector where they intend to be a formidable player once again.

— Tina Arceo-Dumlao INQ


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