Aussie Yum! operator ramps up investment in Northern Europe

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Kfc

An major Australian restaurant franchise operator will expand heavily into Europe after Yum! Brands agreed to sell it 16 outlets in the Netherlands.

Under the terms of the deal, Collins Foods will acquire 16 KFC restaurants in Amsterdam, the Hague, Almere and other cities in the south of the country for €62.3m (US$67.6m) in cash.

It has also entered into a development agreement with the KFC parent that will allow Collins Foods to open a further 20 new restaurants by 2021. Six of these will be completed by 2018. It will also be given the first right of refusal in relation to any more new restaurants elsewhere in the Netherlands.

The acquisition comes soon after Collins Foods, which also owns Sizzler restaurants and emerging hot dog outlets Snag Stand in Australia, recently began its charge into Europe by snapping up KFC stores in Germany.

The Australian company’s chief executive, Graham Maxwell, said that the Netherlands represented a “highly attractive​” market that has been “under-penetrated​” by the chain.

This transaction immediately increases our footprint in Europe to 28 KFC restaurants, providing increased economies of scale​. 

In addition, the development agreement lays a clear path to future growth in this market through to December 2021​.” he added. 

The number of KFC restaurants in Holland and Germany is dwarfed by the brand’s big-name rivals. In Germany, where Collins Food acquired 11 stores in December, there are just 142 KFC restaurants, compared to 1,500 McDonald’s outlets and 700 Burger Kings.

"For every 37,000 people in Australia there is one KFC, while in Germany there's only one KFC per 580,000 people​,” Maxwell said at the time.

KFC veteran Mark van ‘t Loo has been appointed chief executive of Collins Food Europe, which will operate independently from the Australian business. 

The deal is expected to be completed in July, and is subject to a number of technical conditions.

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