KFC Holdings Japan Receives $863 Mln Offer from Carlyle-Backed Fund

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A KFC restaurant in Minato Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO, May 20 (Reuters) – Fast food operator KFC Holdings Japan said on Monday that a Carlyle Group-backed fund launched a tender offer for its shares in a deal worth 135 billion yen ($863 million).

Crispy Holdings, which is wholly owned by Carlyle, will offer 6,500 yen per share, a 20% premium to KFC Holdings Japan’s closing price on Monday. The tender offer will last from May 21 to July 9.

Buyout funds have been increasingly active in Japan as more corporations step up sales of non-core assets or seek buyers due to succession issues. The deal would be the third largest private equity buyout this year, according to LSEG data.

KFC Holdings Japan operates KFC restaurants in Japan under a master franchise agreement with Yum! Brands, which also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.

KFC Holdings Japan’s board of directors will recommend the company’s shareholders tender their shares, a spokesperson for Carlyle said.

Mitsubishi Corp, the biggest shareholder in KFC Holdings Japan with a 35% stake, said separately it would tender all its shares to the offer.

On Tuesday morning, KFC Holdings Japan’s shares were untraded amid a glut of buy orders, quoted up almost 18.5% at its daily-limit high of 6,400 yen per share.