Yum Brands Inc announced on Monday that it has sold its restaurants and KFC franchise in Russia to a local buyer, with one of the world’s largest catering companies planning to exit the market altogether following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Following the closing of the transaction, Yum! Brands will have ceased its commercial presence in Russia,” the company said in a statement.
KFC’s restaurants, operating system and master franchise rights will transfer to Smart Service Ltd, operated by existing KFC franchisees Konstantin Kotov and Andrei Oskolkov.
Smart Service will be responsible for retaining KFC employees in Russia and renaming locations to a non-Yum concept.
Buyers based in Izhevsk are required to “gradually” rebrand the 1,000 KFC locations to “Rostic’s”, Russian business daily Kommersant reported on Monday, citing unnamed people close to the dealmakers.
Yum’s deal with Smart Service is expected to close in late 2022, Kommersant reported, citing an investment consultant in the sale agreement.
The company has already sold its Pizza Hut business to a Russian company Noi-M in a deal worth around $5 million, Kommersant reported in June.
Yum Brands Inc suspended all operations and investments in Russia in March after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine.
The company has more than 1,000 fast-rood restaurants in Russia, of which nearly 70 are company-operated and the rest are independently franchised.
The move follows US fast-food giant McDonald’s in May to sell all of its 850 restaurants in Russia to one of its local licensees for an undisclosed sum. The channel was reopened in June as Vkusno-i Tochka (savory period).