EG Group swoops for 52 more KFC sites

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Blackburn-based EG Group has announced the acquisition of 52 Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants in the UK from Amsric Group, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquired network, across the South and South west regions, comprises more than 1,600 staff and a mix of high quality drive-thru and traditional restaurant formats.

EG already benefits from broad experience in investing in foodservice development and operations and inclusive of this portfolio, the group now operates more than 1,700 foodservice concessions.

This acquisition establishes EG’s position as the largest franchisee in Western Europe for the KFC brand, which has positioned itself as a high growth quick service restaurant brand and is the undisputed market leader in the chicken segment.

Post-completion EG will operate more than 220 KFC restaurants in Europe and the UK.

This transaction follows EG Group’s acquisition of the largest KFC franchise in the UK and Ireland from The Herbert Group in March 2020. At the time, the acquisition comprised 146 KFC restaurants and one Pizza Hut Store, as well as a development pipeline and a small number of non-trading sites.

Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa, co-founders and co-CEOs of EG Group, said: “Acquiring the Amsric portfolio further strengthens our customer proposition and is highly complementary to our existing operations, and our long term growth plans for our foodservice business.

“The KFC brand has continued to grow in recent years due to its focus on changing customer needs and brand positioning. Even during the pandemic, KFC moved quickly to assess and adapt in order to embrace the rapidly evolving environment. We have seen a marked upward trend in the performance of our existing KFC network and this has given us confidence to consider and invest in more assets.”

He added: “The network we have acquired is a strong portfolio of assets and we are looking forward to working with the Amsric management team and KFC to ensure a smooth transition for the teams and an effectively managed transfer of operations and assets.”

Ragin Patel, managing director of Amsric Group, said: “We are pleased to be selling our KFC business to EG Group. As a family managed business, we take a people-first approach and wanted to ensure our KFC network went to a new owner who is committed to investing in the network and allowing our employees to realise opportunities for professional growth.

“EG Group has an excellent track record of acquisitions and of managing leading consumer brands. Moreover, EG Group is recognised as an effective foodservice operator and already has an extensive KFC restaurant portfolio. They have a business model which is committed to investing and growing.”

He added: “Our first priority is to make sure our team members are well supported through the transition and ensure there is minimal disruption to our guests.”

Paula MacKenzie, general manager of KFC UK & Ireland, said: “Firstly, I would like to thank Ragin and the Patel family for all their hard work, and their longstanding support of our brand. EG Group’s commitment to investing not only in the existing restaurants, but also in growth through the development of new locations reinforces the strength of our brand, and of KFC as a world class franchisor.

“We are confident that EG Group’s expertise, focus on their people and depth of connection to our brand will yield tremendous success and continued growth.”

The Issa brothers founded the EG business in 2001, following the acquisition of a petrol filling station and today it is a major player in the forecourt retail sector.

Earlier this year the brothers acquired Leeds-based supermarket group Asda from US retail giant Walmart in a £6.8bn deal involving private equity firm TDR Capital.

TDR Capital took a minority stake in EG in 2015, valuing the business, then, at £1.3bn.

EG is also expanding into the restaurants industry.

Last year it bought 146 KFC restaurants in the UK and Ireland, followed by fast food chain Leon in April this year for £100m.

It is also believed to be stalking coffee shop chain Caffe Nero by buying up its debt.

Over recent years EG Group has extended its presence in the convenience stores and petrol stations sector following a series of acquisitions across the UK, Europe, US and Australia, and now operates approximately 6,000 sites around the globe.