Restaurant Brands to buy franchise in Southern California

Fast food operator Restaurant Brands has ventured on to mainland United States for the first time.

The company is to buy a franchise in Southern California, comprising 59 KFC and 11 Taco Bell stores, together with a head office facility.

"This acquisition brings with it some very experienced and committed employees who we welcome to the Restaurant Brands family and we look forward to building the business further with them in what is a market with considerable potential for future growth," chief executive Russell Creedy said.

Restaurant Brands is paying $US73 million (NZ$111m) and will also pay for recent store upgrades. The deal is fully funded by debt.

The US business has an annual turnover of US$95m and operating earnings of US$12m.

"This acquisition provides RBD with immediate critical mass and a capable and stable organisation in California from which we can further expand," Creedy said.

RBD operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Burgers and Taco Bell outlets in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and Guam.

The company is 75 percent owned by Mexican investment concern Global Valar, which has promised to keep the company listed on the NZX at least until April next year unless it makes a full takeover offer.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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