By Hilary Russ
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Yum Brands Inc on Monday said that it reached a deal to sell its KFC restaurants in Russia to a local operator there, paving a path to fully exit the country.
The restaurant operator, which also owns the Taco Bell and Pizza Hut brands, will transfer ownership of its Russian KFC locations, operating system and master franchise rights to Smart Service Ltd, which is run by existing Russian KFC franchisees Konstantin Yurievich Kotov and Andrey Eduardovich Oskolkov, Yum said in a press release.
The buyer will be responsible for re-branding the restaurants and retaining existing employees.
Many Western companies have sold their Russian assets to local managers as they scramble to comply with sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Yum’s transaction must still be approved by regulators. Once it is completed, Yum “will have ceased its corporate presence in Russia,” the company said.
In July, Yum said it transferred ownership of its Pizza Hut assets to a local Russian operator.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)