No Signboard licks its chops over fried chicken franchise

Singapore

NO Signboard Holdings' appetite for expansion looks unsated, as the food and beverage operator unveiled a 10-year exclusive master franchise deal to sell Korean-style fried chicken in Singapore and Malaysia.

The deal, announced on Monday, gives No Signboard the right to set up Mom's Touch Chicken and Burger outlets on either side of the Causeway.

The group, which mainly runs a chain of seafood restaurants, said that the franchise agreement was in keeping with a long-term strategy of diversifying its restaurant portfolio.

The deal is not expected to have any material impact on net tangible assets or earnings per share for the year to Sept 30, the board said.

Rights to Mom's Touch kick in on Jan 2, 2019 - or the opening of the first outlet, if that comes earlier - with a renewal option for 10 more years.

No Signboard plans to have eight Mom's Touch restaurants up and running within three years, starting with one in Malaysia next year.

It could do so on its own or through sub-franchisees, with executive chairman and chief executive Sam Lim citing the group's "strong foundations and extensive network in the food and beverage sector" as a factor for potential sub-franchising.

The group, which also owns Danish Breweries, said in June that it had snagged the Singapore franchise rights to hotpot chain Little Sheep, and plans to open burger joints too.

No Signboard, which was priced at S$0.28 on its listing last November, closed down on Monday by 1.3 Singapore cents, or 7.5 per cent, at S$0.16.