Yum Brands nears Russian release with local Pizza Hut sale
Yum Brands transferred ownership of all of its Russian Pizza Hut franchise assets to a local operator last month. The new owner of the units will rebrand the restaurants as non-Yum entities, the company said on Tuesday.
Yum is also in an “advanced stage” of selling its Russian KFC restaurants, operating system and master franchise rights to a local operator. Once the KFC transaction is completed, Yum will officially exit the Russian market.
In March, Yum – which operated 50 Pizza Hut units and around 1,000 KFC units in Russia – announced that it had halted all business activity in the country and was finalizing an agreement to cease its Pizza Hut operations there. At that time, Yum had also temporarily closed 70 of its KFC stores in Russia.
At the start of the year, Yum’s Russian business accounted for less than 2% of the global restaurant count, according to Seeking Alpha. The company’s markets in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe accounted for 8% of KFC system sales last year, a 35% jump from 2020. It is unclear how many workers were employed by Yum in Russia.
These ownership transfers build on the company’s previous commitments to channel profits from its Russian operations to humanitarian efforts, Yum said in a statement.
This news follows McDonald’s exit from the market, which took place in May, with a sale to an existing licensee. These locations have since been renamed.