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Yum! Brands' Indian unit acquires minority stake in franchise partner Devyani

The Indian arm of Yum! Brands Inc. acquired a minority stake in its franchise partner Devyani International Ltd. from food and beverage company RJ Corp Ltd., The Economic Times (India) reported Feb. 10, citing RJ Corp Chairman Ravi Jaipuria.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The development reportedly comes after Gurugram-based Devyani acquired a total of 74 KFC restaurants from Yum! Restaurants (India) Pvt. Ltd. over a period of 18 months.

"Yum! is looking at India as its next biggest bastion of growth after China," Jaipuria reportedly said.

The transaction between Devyani and Yum! Restaurants was approved by the Competition Commission of India on Feb. 3.

Devyani reportedly operates 500 KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants across the country. The company plans to invest over 10 billion Indian rupees over the next four to five years to expand the footprint of its fast-food chains, including KFC and Pizza Hut, according to Devyani President and CEO Virag Joshi.

Yum! Restaurants runs more than 1,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell outlets in India, the news outlet added.

Same-store sales in India grew 12% year over year during the fourth quarter of 2019, ending the year with 10% same-store sales growth, Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs said during a Feb. 6 earnings call.

As of Feb. 10, US$1 was equivalent to 71.29 Indian rupees.