Yum Said in Advanced Preparations to Separate Chinese Business

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Yum Said in Advanced Preparations to Separate Chinese Business

Yum! Brands, the owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut, is preparing to separate its Chinese and U.S. businesses in a major restructuring of the $31 billion fast-food group, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Plans to break up the business are advanced and could be announced before the end of the month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

The efforts to split the Chinese operations from the rest of the company follow calls from activist investor Keith Meister, the founder of hedge fund Corvex Management, for Yum to focus on the U.S. In May, Meister suggested Yum could boost its worth by $16 a share by exiting China, which translates to an increase of about $7 billion in value.

Details of the separation haven’t been finalized, and Yum could still decide to retain its current structure, one of the people said. A representative for Yum couldn’t immediately be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

Bloomberg News, edited by Hospitality Ireland