Yum! Brands, the parent company of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurant chains, intends to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies, each with distinct strategies and investment characteristics.
The transaction will create two companies, each with a separate strategic focus: Yum! Brands and Yum! China.
According to a news release from the company, as an independent company, Yum! China will have a strong, predominantly Chinese leadership team and compelling growth profile in one of the world’s fastest-growing restaurant markets. The China business delivered annual revenue of $6.9 billion in 2014, and has a substantial free cash flow, with no significant debt, allowing it to focus and capitalize on the unparalleled growth opportunities ahead of it.
Yum! is already the leading restaurant developer in China, with approximately 6,900 restaurants in over 1,000 cities. China’s consuming class is expected to double from 300 million in 2012 to more than 600 million people by 2020, providing a strong tailwind to the growth of Yum! China. The business remains on pace to open about 700 new locations in 2015 and is targeting expansion to over 20,000 restaurants in China in the future.
Completion of the transaction will be subject to certain conditions, including, among others, receiving final approval from the Yum! Brands’ Board of Directors, receipt of various regulatory approvals, receipt of an opinion of counsel with respect to certain tax matters, the effectiveness of filings related to public listing and applicable securities laws, and other terms and conditions as may be determined by the board.