Yum inks deal to sell Long John Silver's, A&W

AP News
Posted: Sep 22, 2011 7:02 PM
Yum inks deal to sell Long John Silver's, A&W

The operator of the Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut fast-food chains said Thursday that it has found buyers for its Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurant chains.

Yum Brands Inc., based in Louisville, put the brands up for sale in January, saying the move will help it focus on international business, where it has seen dramatic growth.

Yum said Long John Silver's is being bought by LJS Partners LLC, led by a group of franchisees and other investors, and A&W is being bought by A Great American Brand LLC, which is led by one major franchisee.

The company didn't disclose the financial terms of the deals.

Yum Brands said in January that Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food restaurants do not fit into its long-term strategy. It acquired the two chains in 2002 for $320 million. They have a minimal presence outside the U.S. and no sites in China, a critical market for Yum.

A&W Restaurants, named after the initials of its two founders, started as a root beer stand in California in 1919. Today there are more than 600 A&W restaurants in the U.S. and abroad.

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Long John Silver's, a 40-year-old seafood chain, had almost 1,000 locations worldwide at the end of 2010.

There were almost 38,000 Yum Brands restaurants around the world at the end of 2010. KFC is its largest chain, with more than 16,000 restaurants, about one-third in the U.S. There were more than 13,000 Pizza Huts, about half in the U.S. And there were about 6,000 Taco Bell Restaurants, most in the U.S.

Yum shares fell $1.58, or 3 percent, to close at $50.97 as the broader markets dropped sharply.