Doughnuts-and-coffee chain Dunkin' Donuts said Thursday it would open more than 1,400 restaurants in China, Hong Kong and Macau in the company's largest development deal in its 65-year history.
Dunkin' Donuts set the 20-year deal with Golden Cup Pte, a new joint venture between Philippines fast food group Jollibee Worldwide and Jasmine Asset Holding, the latter owned by Asian investment group RRJ Capital.
Dunkin' Donuts, based in Canton, Massachusetts, currently has 16 restaurants in China. It said the opening of the first restaurant with Golden Cup is expected this year in the fourth quarter.
"We are delighted to enter into this relationship with Jollibee and RRJ, a group with a proven track record of success in the quick-service restaurant industry in China and a deep knowledge of the consumer," said Nigel Travis, chairman and chief executive of parent Dunkin' Brands Group, in a statement.
"Through this franchise development agreement, the largest in our history, we believe we can significantly expand and accelerate Dunkin' Donuts presence in China."
The US company, known for its dozens of varieties of doughnuts and highly rated coffee, has more than 11,000 restaurants in 36 countries worldwide, including more than 2,200 in the Asia Pacific region.
In the China market, Dunkin' Donuts also offers regionally tailored items, including Mochi Ring Donuts, made of glutinous rice that come in flavors like green tea and mango.
"There is a strong demand in China for Dunkin' Donuts high-quality foods and beverages, served in a welcoming restaurant environment with fast and friendly service, all at a great value to consumers," said Charles Ong, co-CEO of RRJ.
Share in Dunkin' Donuts surged 1.3 percent higher to $44.10 in early trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market.