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Restaurant Brands scotches talk of buying Western Australian KFC stores

Monday 22nd April 2013

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Restaurant Brands, which operates the local KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr fast-food brands, has dismissed speculation it might be in the running to buy 40 KFC stores in Western Australia.

The Auckland-based company has denied media reports that it might be looking at buying Competitive Foods' KFC stores in Western Australia, it said in a statement to the NZX.

"There has been recent media speculation as to the identity of the acquirer of Competitive Foods Limited, the franchisee of 40 KFC stores in Western Australia," the company said. "Restaurant Brands wishes to advise that it is not intending to acquire this business."

Competitive Foods owns the franchise rights to Hungry Jack's restaurants around Australia and KFC fried chicken outlets in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The KFC stores are up for sale to appease global licensee Yum! International, which gave notice eight years ago it wouldn't agree to the standard 20-year leases on Competitive Foods' KFC restaurants due to owner Jack Cowin's involvement with Domino's Pizza, a rival to Yum!'s Pizza Hut brand.

Restaurant Brands' shares fell 1 percent to $2.95 today, and have gained 13 percent this year.

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