Little Sheep Adds Choice of Yum-my Flavors


YUM! Brands Inc yesterday said it has completed its purchase of China's hotpot chain, Little Sheep Group Co, as it expands its presence in the country to offer diners more local tastes.

Little Sheep, which owns nearly 470 restaurants in the Chinese mainland, will be delisted from the Hong Kong stock exchange today and become a unit of Yum, the US company said.

The privatization of Little Sheep signals Yum has officially taken over the management of Little Sheep in China as it named Xi Ziying, a former regional manager of KFC in China, to be the brand manager, replacing Lu Wenbing, former president of the hotpot chain.

Taking over Little Sheep will provide Yum additional access to China's catering industry and help it maintain growing momentum in the country, its biggest growth market.

Sam Su, chairman and CEO of Yum! Restaurants China and vice chairman of Yum! Brands, said the acquisition was an important expansion for Yum in China.

"We expect Yum's affiliated brands, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, East Dawning and Little Sheep, would continue to grow stronger and be market leaders in various catering segments."

Yum bought a 20 percent stake in Little Sheep in 2009 and increased it to 27.2 percent in 2010.

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