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Japanese company Calbee relinquished its joint venture with Universal Robina Corporation (URC), a Philippine company.
In 2014, Calbee teamed up with the URC to sell its famous potato chips and to increase its market share in the Philippines. Back then, both companies had an equal partnership of the Calbee-URC, Inc. (CURC). But recently, the Japanese company sold all of its shares to the URC after accruing losses amounting to more than $5 million in three years.
Calbee reportedly sold its 50% share of the CURC for more than $3 million, giving the URC sole ownership of the Philippine company. The Japanese snack manufacturer came to the decision after analyzing the company’s international business strategy and profitability. A Calbee official cited that the company’s weak sales growth in the Philippines could be attributed to the higher price of Calbee chips as compared to local chips produced by the URC.
Despite leaving the joint venture, Calbee gave the URC the license to continue manufacturing and selling the Calbee brand in the Philippines. This is because the market for snacks in the country remains promising.
Calbee is not the only Japanese consumer company to exit the Philippine market. Last year, two other Japanese companies—FamilyMart and Itochu Corporation—already pulled out their shares from a Philippine company called Philippine FamilyMart CVS Incorporated (PFM). The company operates FamilyMart, one of the leading convenience stores in the Philippines with over 60 branches.
The PFM is now under the management of Phoenix Petroleum, an oil firm owned by Filipino business tycoon Dennis Uy.