FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida -- Kenny Rogers Roasters said Tuesdsay it has signed a development agreement with Medvest-Sabi International Ltd. for 126 franchise outlets in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe.
Cyprus-based Medvest-Sabi International Ltd. paid $1 million for the right to develop the franchises over the next 10 years in such countries as Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Malta, Georgia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Roasters already has restaurants scheduled to open in Greece and Israel in early 1994.
'The vast majority of people around the world eat chicken roasted by fire, not fried,' said Roasters chairman John Y. Brown Jr., who founded the company with entertainer Kenny Rogers in 1991.
'It's only natural we expand our Roasters concept overseas,' he said. 'Kenny Rogers' worldwide recognition as an entertainer gives our restaurants immediate international awareness.'
Medvest, an international investment group, recently joined forces with Sabi International to form Medvest-Sabi International Ltd.
Sabi International, with offices throughout the world, is a trading and contracting holding company involved in international fast food franchising, manufacturing, industrial, architectural and interior design services.
'Historically consumers in our markets are very familiar and comfortable with rotisserie-prepared foods,' said Adel Saudi of Medvest-Sabi International Ltd. 'We believe they will be very receptive to a quick service approach to dining and to Kenny Rogers Roasters specifically.'
Brown said he expects substantial growth in the emerging markets covered by the new agreement.
Kenny Rogers Roasters recently signed a joint venture agreement with the Berjaya Group for expansion of the restaurant chain into Asia.
Brown said Roasters Asia Pacific will develop restaurants throughout Japan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia.
Additionally, 100 franchise restaurants are slated to open over the next five years in Canada.
Kenny Rogers Roasters, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was established in 1991 and has more than 100 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada, with agreements to develop more than 800 additional sites in domestic and international locations.