Philippine’s billionaire Frank Lao buys 35% stake in Malaysian coffee shop Zus

From left: Zus Coffee co-founder Terence Ho, Zus Coffee co-founder Ian Chuam Choi Garden Group head Janica Lao and Zus Coffee chief operating officer Venon Tian.

PETALING JAYA: Philippine's billionaire Frank Lao, the guy behind two of the country’s most well-known restaurants, Choi Garden and Gloria Maris, is expanding his portfolio by investing in ZUS Coffee, a Malaysian tech-driven coffee chain.

Choi Garden restaurant company chief operating officer Janica Lao has inked a deal to buy a 35% stake in ZUS Coffee last week.

The agreement was signed with ZUS Coffee co-founder Ian Chua.

Janica said that the Choi Garden group intends to grow into the Philippines and that ZUS Coffee is a natural fit for their plans.

“We aim to introduce ZUS Coffee to the Philippines. ZUS Coffee is not looking at franchising; all their stores are owned by the company, and they aim to be the local champions.

“ZUS Coffee’s growth in Malaysia has been very quick in the last three years and they are incredibly determined in serving the local Malaysian market with localised flavours. We believe that they will do the same thing in the Philippines market,” Janica said in a statement.

ZUS Coffee, which opened its first store in Malaysia in 2019, currently owns 197 locations across the country, with over 30 million cups delivered to date.

It said more than 1.5 million individuals had downloaded the app as of March 20, 2023, and there are currently over 800,000 active users every month.

Chua said that the company is working to increase the number of app users through various promotional initiatives.

“We have a few incentives available through the app that encourages customers to drink our coffee and tell their relatives and friends about it,” he said.

According to Chua, the company intends to open up to 150 units in strategic areas around Malaysia this year.

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ZUS Coffee , Frank Lao , Choi Garden , coffee chain


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