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Report: Hillhouse, KKR consider bids for Yum China

Private equity firms Hillhouse Capital Advisors Ltd. and KKR & Co. are among the potential suitors considering acquisition bids for restaurant operator Yum China Holdings Inc., Bloomberg News reported July 27, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The Shanghai-based spinoff of U.S.-based Yum! Brands Inc. operates the quick-service chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in China, in addition to Little Sheep hot pot restaurants.

The sources told Bloomberg that Hillhouse and KKR are in discussions with banks about financing a Yum China purchase. They added that it was possible a consortium could be formed to make a joint offer but added that it was an early stage in the process and a deal may not materialize.

ews site The Information initially reported July 26 that Hillhouse was in talks about purchasing Yum China. In New York, shares of the company closed that day up $3.49, or 10.81%, at $35.79 following that report.

Hillhouse and KKR declined to comment to Bloomberg, while an external representative for Yum China told the news outlet that the company does not comment on rumors or market speculation on such matters.