Vivo Energy plc (Vivo Energy), the pan-African retailer and distributor of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants, has agreed to form a non-fuel joint venture to accelerate the roll-out of KFC restaurants in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
The 50:50 joint venture will manage and operate the restaurants in the three markets on behalf of Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings (Kuku Foods), who will remain the local KFC franchisee.
Completion of this transaction is subject to standard legal agreements and regulatory and competition authority approval.
The restaurants, 22 in Kenya and 8 in Uganda, are located in shopping malls, city centre locations, and service stations. Kuku Foods plans to open its first KFC restaurant in Rwanda in 2019.
The 5 KFC restaurants operated by Kuku Foods Tanzania, the KFC franchisee in Tanzania, will not form part of the transaction.
The joint venture will enable a significant increase in the number of KFC restaurants in the portfolio in the coming years.
It is envisaged that many of the new restaurants will be opened at Vivo Energy’s network of service stations across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, which leverages Vivo Energy’s retail footprint, with more countries to be considered in the future, based on market opportunities.
Commenting on the transaction, Christian Chammas, CEO of Vivo Energy, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Kuku Foods to replicate the KFC joint venture model we pioneered in Botswana and Côte d’Ivoire. Kuku Foods shares our ambition to invest in order to grow the number of restaurants and give more African customers access to the internationally renowned KFC brand. This partnership further demonstrates our ambition to continue to offer more convenience to satisfy the evolving needs of our growing number of African customers.”
Derrick Van Houten, Group CEO of Kuku Foods and Principal Operator of the KFC franchises, added: “Having launched our first KFC in East Africa in 2011, we have successfully grown the business over the last eight years. We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Vivo Energy to continue this growth, bringing our world-renowned KFC products and experience to as many customers as possible.”
KFC Africa’s General Manager, Tarun Lal concluded: “We are delighted that KFC can leverage the joint venture entered into between Vivo Energy and Kuku Foods to continue to grow its network of KFC restaurants in Africa. We are confident that the KFC franchisee will continue to provide customers with a great KFC experience, driving improvements in customer service and quality through its relationship with Vivo Energy.”