Cupola sells KFC Pakistan to Delicious Holdings

Dubai-based Cupola Group – that held the master franchise of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Pakistan for over a decade – has sold its flagship KFC business to Delicious Holdings of United Arab Emirates, media reports said on Thursday.

While the parties involved are tight-lipped over details about the agreement, two independent sources have put the transaction value at a minimum of $20 million.

Cupola confirmed the development with sources adding that its senior management has been changed already. Nigel Belton has replaced Rafiq Rangoonwala as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KFC business, announced Gray Mackenzie Restaurant Internationals, an investor in Cupola Group.

Based in UAE, Belton is the Chief Development Officer at Yum! Restaurants International, the largest division of Yam! Brands Inc. He has 17 years of experience in food and retail businesses in different parts of the world and possesses a good understanding of Pakistani market.

Irfan Mustafa, a partner at Delicious Holdings, and Cupola Group are said to be finalising the formalities as the agreement has already been signed.

The American fast food restaurant chain had entered Pakistani market in 1997 after Abraaj Group opened the country’s first KFC franchise in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi. In 2001, Cupola bought the master franchise rights to operate KFC restaurants in Pakistan.

The business grew significantly over time to a network of 60 KFC restaurants, covering 20 cities across Pakistan and contributing more than Rs10 million a month in direct taxes to the exchequer – each new outlet developed by the company costs around Rs40 million, according to its website.