Owner of Malaysian KFC and Pizza Hut operator considering selling it

KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in South-east Asia are run by QSR Brands (M) Holdings.
KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in South-east Asia are run by QSR Brands (M) Holdings.PHOTOS: REUTERS, PIZZZAHUT/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - QSR Brands (M) Holdings' owners are considering a sale of the fast-food operator, which runs KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in South-east Asia, after shelving an initial public offering earlier this year, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Malaysian company's major shareholders, which include private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, are working with an adviser to gauge interest from potential buyers for a controlling stake in QSR, according to the people. A deal could value QSR at about RM6 billion (S$1.96 billion), the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

QSR's backers have asked for non-binding offers to be submitted by the end of November, the people said. Its investors also include state-owned Johor Corp and pension fund Employees Provident Fund.

The shareholders decided to pursue a stake sale, instead of reviving a potential listing as previously planned, after weak markets led to a dearth of initial public offerings in the country, the people said. Malaysian IPOs have raised just US$452 million (S$614.8 million) this year, with only one deal of more than US$100 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Malaysia's benchmark gauge has fallen 5.7 per cent this year, making it the worst performer among major Asian exchanges. Only two of the region's frontier markets - Laos and Mongolia - have posted worse returns.

Representatives for QSR, CVC, EPF and Johor Corp didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

QSR which started gauging investor interest in an IPO in March, shelved its IPO plan weeks later.

The company operates more than 830 KFC restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Cambodia, as well as more than 470 Pizza Hut outlets in Malaysia and Singapore. It also breeds chickens and produces sauces, branding itself as a "farm to fork" food operator.