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Calbee exits Calbee-URC joint venture focused on the snack market in the Phillipines

Some of the potato chips brought to the Philippine market by the Calbee-URC joint venture

Japanese snack food manufacturer Calbee has transferred all its shares in the Calbee-URC, Inc. joint venture to Universal Robina Corporation (URC).

Calbee established the joint venture with URC in 2014. URC has strong sales and brands in the Philippine market, considered a promising snack foods market. The joint venture aimed to grow sales of Calbee products and expand market share in the Philippines.

However, after three years passed from the start of production and sales of Calbee-URC products, based on the review of overseas business strategy of Calbee and by reviewing the profitability of the business, Calbee discussed with URC and mutually agreed that URC would take over the joint venture business.

Calbee transferred all the owned shares of Calbee-URC to URC and terminates the joint venture agreement.

As the snack market in the Philippines is still promising, Calbee agreed to continue the licensing to URC to produce and sell Calbee brand products.

Nikkei Asian Review mentions that the chips were 40% more expensive than potato chips already offered by Universal Robina. A Calbee official told Nikkei the products were too expensive for Filipinos, a group that market research group Nielsen once described as "spontaneous snackers" who like to share food with relatives and friends.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, Calbee sold its 50% stake in the joint venture to its Filipino partner for around PHP 170 million (USD 3.13 million).