MTY adds to Quebec fast-food holdings
Groupe Valentine may enter Ontario
MONTREAL • MTY Food Group Inc. has tightened its grip on Quebec’s fast-food industry with the planned purchase of hotdog and poutine retailer Groupe Valentine Inc. and may be weighing an expansion into Ontario.
Montreal-based MTY said its subsidiary Tiki Ming Enterprises Inc. has entered into a binding agreement to acquire all of the issued shares of Valentine and seven real estate properties owned by an affiliate for $9.3-million in cash. The deal is expected to close in September.
MTY chairman Stanley Ma has been gobbling up quickservice chains in the province in recent years, adding doughnut retailer Country Style, Taco Time and Sushi Shop to his stable of brands, which includes Cultures, Sukiyaki and La Crémière.
In taking over Valentine, he gets a well-known maker of Quebec comfort food that’s been in business since 1979. Headquartered in SaintHyacinthe, east of Montreal, its stores are largely in rural locations around the province.
“There’s a fit in that Valentine is located in strategic and geographical regions where MTY is not currently present,” said MTY spokesman JeanFrançois Dubé. “So they can expand the other banners in areas where Valentine is now. And they can migrate to Ontario. A name like Valentine fits well.”
MTY said it will take over Valentine’s 8,300-square-foot distribution centre as part of the transaction and may use the building’s excess capacity.
MTY has a fast-food hamburger and fries brand called Franx Supreme. Marketed as “the French Canadian food specialist,” Franx is profitable but has not grown, Mr. Dubé said. He said both Franx and Valentine will be kept operating in the short term, although they could be consolidated later.
Valentine has 95 stores, nine of which are corporateowned, and annual sales of more than $29-million, MTY disclosed.