KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's homegrown food and beverage (F&B) player Loob Holding signed an agreement on Tuesday with China's Zhejiang Boduo International Trade and Shanghai Panfei International Trade, to set up 500 F&B stores in China within three years.
Loob partnered with the two Chinese companies to form a joint venture entity Shanghai Loob Boduo Food and Beverage, which will see Loob emerge as the largest shareholder with a 51 percent stake.
Zhejiang Boduo International Trade and Shanghai Panfei International Trade will hold the remaining 43 percent and 6 percent stake, respectively.
Under the agreement, Zhejiang Boduo will provide resources and its warehousing and real estate expertise to the joint venture, while Shanghai Panfei International Trade will supply its equipment.
Loob's chief executive officer Bryan Loo told reporters after attending the signing ceremony that its first home-grown bubble tea brand Tealive will be opened in Shanghai on September before expanding to various cities in China.
He sees great potential in the venture as China has the world's largest tea market with an annual consumption of 21 billion U.S. dollars.
"Chinese now consume five times more milk tea than coffee. After the arrival of pearl milk tea to China, coffee has taken a backseat. Bubble tea consumption in particular, continues to rise at a high rate each year. Therefore, the potential is huge," he added.