Yum Brands, parent company of US popular fast-food chain KFC, is in talks with private equity (P/E) groups including KKR & Co LP to sell a 19.9 percent stake in its China unit, the Financial Times reported on Thursday [24 March 2016], citing unidentified sources. The newspaper quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that the talks, which have attracted several Chinese funds, were at an early stage and may not lead to a deal. Those people valued Yum’s China operations at about $10 billion…Full Article: The Global Times Mar 2016

Key Points

  • Yum Brands tentatively plans to split off its Chinese division into a separate company in before the end of 2016. The new company may be listed on the New York Stock Exchange or Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • In 2015, Yum Brands opened 743 new restaurants in China, including 351 KFC and 280 Pizza Hut restaurants.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In March 2016, Yum Brands announced it would open its first Taco Bell fast food restaurant in China by the end of the year. Additionally, Yum Brands opened its first Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant in Tibet.
  • As of December 2015, Yum Brands operated approximately 6,900 restaurants (e.g. KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.) in roughly 1,000 Chinese cities. During the same month, KFC announced it would open its first restaurant in Tibet in January 2016.
  • In late-October 2015, Yum Brands announced it would split off its Chinese division into a separate company.
  • In mid-October 2015, Yum stated it would lower its annual growth forecast in light of lackluster sales.
  • In August 2015, there was speculation that Yum Brands would spin off its KFC division after the CEO of Yum’s KFC Division transitioned to the CEO position of Yum China.
  • In June 2015, Kentucky Fried Chickens comprised 4,889 out of Yum’s 6,853 (or 71%) restaurants in China.
  • KFC is owned by Yum Brands, a company that also manages Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. The company also manages a high-end Italian restaurant in Shanghai called “Atto Primo”.
  • Founded in 1976 and headquartered in New York City, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is an American multinational private equity firm.

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