Yum! in takeover of British Pizza Hut

July 31, 2006 at 10:47 AM

LONDON, July 31 (UPI) -- Yum! Brands Inc. is paying $208 million for the remaining half interest in 541 Pizza Hut restaurants in Britain from Whitbread PLC.

Whitbread has decided to refocus its business to the hospitality and leisure sectors, Yum! said Monday. The transaction, which includes debt assumption of $25 million, is expected to close by year-end.

In addition to the 541 Pizza Huts in the joint venture between Yum and Whitbread, there are 125 Pizza Hut restaurants in Britain, which are owned and operated by franchisees. Over the next several years, the company expects to substantially reduce its equity ownership of the 541 Pizza Hut restaurants from this deal through refranchising to new and existing franchisees.

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