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Jollibee jumps into Mexican food business with stake in US chain

Philippine fast-food leader to buy 47% stake in Tortas Frontera for $12.7m

Jollibee has been making big moves in the U.S. to reach its goal of becoming one of the world's top five restaurant operators.

MANILA -- Philippine fast-food chain Jollibee Foods on Friday said it plans to launch a Mexican restaurant business in the U.S. with its purchase of a stake in Tortas Frontera.

Jollibee will pay $12.4 million for a 47% interest in the company, which was founded by celebrity chef Rick Bayless and has four restaurants at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and the University of Pennsylvania. The chain sells tortas -- grilled Mexican sandwiches with a variety of fillings -- and molletes, which are warm, open-faced sandwiches.

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