Yum! Brands, Inc. announced that it has completed the separation of Yum China Holdings, Inc. from Yum! Brands, creating two independent, focused growth companies. Yum China will begin trading “regular way” as an independent company on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “YUMC.” Yum! Brands’ and Yum China’s leadership teams will celebrate the historic milestone by simultaneously ringing today’s NYSE Opening Bell from New York and Shanghai.
“The successful separation of Yum China marks a major milestone in Yum! Brands’ history,” says Greg Creed, chief executive officer of Yum! Brands. “We’ve established two powerful, independent companies that are each well capitalized with long runways for growth and value creation. We couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for both companies.”
As it executes the transformation outlined last month, Yum! Brands will be in a strong position to maximize the potential of its three brands—KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell—around the world. Major features of Yum! Brands’ transformation and growth strategy involve being more focused, franchised (at least 98 percent by fiscal year ending 2018) and efficient. In 2016, Yum! Brands optimized its capital structure, and going forward the Company expects to become capital light with improved cash flow and laser-like focus on its key strategies to drive same-store sales and new unit growth worldwide.
Creed says, “At Yum! Brands, we’re focused on building the world’s most loved, trusted and fastest-growing restaurant brands. As a ‘pure play’ franchisor, we believe the transformed Yum! Brands is going to deliver long-term sustainable results by being more focused, efficient, growth oriented and collaborative across our brands and with our franchisees.”
In connection with the separation, each Yum! Brands stockholder has received one share of Yum China common stock for each share of Yum! Brands common stock held as of the close of business on October 19. No fractional shares of Yum China common stock will be issued. Instead, the distribution agent will aggregate fractional shares of Yum China common stock and sell the whole shares in the open market. The aggregate net cash proceeds of the sales will be ratably distributed to those shareholders who would otherwise have received fractional shares of Yum China common stock. Approximately 364 million shares of Yum China common stock were distributed in the separation.
With the separation of the China business complete, Yum China Holdings, Inc. is a licensee of Yum! Brands in mainland China. Yum China has exclusive rights in mainland China to KFC, China’s leading quick-service restaurant concept, Pizza Hut, the leading casual dining brand, and Taco Bell, which is expanding globally and opening in China in 2016. It also owns the Little Sheep and East Dawning concepts. Yum China has more than 7,300 restaurants and more than 400,000 employees in over 1,100 cities, and generated over $8 billion in system sales in 2015.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. is serving as financial adviser and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Mayer Brown are serving as legal advisors to Yum! Brands. PJT Partners is serving as an independent financial advisor to Yum! Brands’ Board of Directors.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has nearly 43,000 restaurants in 135 countries and territories and is one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders in North America. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over six new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development