• RGR completes purchase of MFG, parent of The Pizza Company

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Royal Garden Resort Plc (RGR) has completed its 1.66 billion-baht (U.S. $39.8 million) acquisition of Minor Food Group Plc (MFG), parent company of The Pizza Company and franchisee of Swensen's, Sizzler, Dairy Queen and Burger King outlets.

According to the Bangkok Post, the transaction will help RGR and MFG's fast-food business expand overseas in China, Vietnam and the Middle East and compete strongly against foodservice and hotel foe Central Plaza Hotel (CPH).

RGR operates nine hotels, while MFG runs a total of 360 foodservice outlets. CPH owns 10 resorts and hotels in Thailand and East Timor. Its fast-food division operates 320 restaurants under the Pizza Hut, KFC, Mr. Donut, Baskin Robbins and Auntie Anne's brands.

"MFG's consolidation will help leverage risks for RGR, as it no longer has to rely on only the hotel business," said an analyst at Kim Eng Securities. "After all, the hotel business has been hit hard by the SARS outbreak."

RGR and MFG are both part of the Minor Group, founded by entrepreneur Bill Heinecke.

A total of 100 new outlets worldwide are targeted to be operational this year, including 19 domestic franchise outlets of The Pizza Company, bringing the chain's network to 135 outlets.

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