World News

Yum! Brands close to Russian exit with KFC sale almost complete

By Sheri Walsh   |   July 5, 2022 at 3:14 PM
Yum! Brands announced on Tuesday that the sale of its Russian KFC locations is almost complete, which will allow the company to "fully exit" from Russia. Photo courtesy Yum! Brands

July 5 (UPI) -- Yum! Brands is the latest company to sever ties with Russia, announcing Tuesday the sale of its Russian KFC business is almost complete.

Yum! sold its 50 Russian Pizza Hut franchises in May to a local operator who is rebranding the restaurants while the company is in the final stages of selling its 1,000 Russian KFC locations also to a local operator.

"Following completion of the KFC transaction, Yum! Brands intends to fully exit from Russia," the company said in a statement Tuesday.

In March, Yum! suspended operations at all of its Russian restaurants and redirected profits from Russian operations to humanitarian efforts, including a disaster relief fund to support Ukrainian franchise employees and other charities providing relief in Ukraine.

Yum! is one of hundreds of western companies that have closed stores or have stopped selling products in Russia since its February invasion of Ukraine going well beyond existing sanctions ordered by governments.

In March, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft all stopped selling their products in Russia as McDonald's, Starbucks and Coco-Cola announcing they would close stores and stop sales due to the ongoing war.

McDonald's went one step further in May with the announcement it had a buyer for its hundreds of fast-food locations in Russia saying it was getting out completely.

IKEA, Nike and H&M said they would temporarily close their Russian stores while Disney, Sony and Warner Bros. have delivered on their promise since the invasion to not release any films in Russia.

Financial groups have also cut ties at a cost. American Express suspended operations in Russia and Belarus, while JPMorgan Chase said the bank could lose $1 billion "over time" as it wound down business in the Russian market.