EG Group buys UK & Ireland's largest KFC franchise

Blackburn-headquartered EG Group – which trades as Euro Garages – has bought 146 of the fast food company's restaurants and one Pizza Hut, as well as a development pipeline and a small number of non-trading sites, from The Herbert Group in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The acquisition also sees the group bolster its workforce by 4,000 staff. Inclusive of this portfolio, EG Group now operates more than 1,500 food-to-go retail concessions across ten international markets including the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, US and Australia.

Zuber Issa, founder and co-chief executive of EG Group, said: "Securing The Herbert Group portfolio is well aligned to our long-term strategic growth plans and builds on our commitment to grow the EG Group's presence in the food-to-go retail convenience segment.

"The Herbert Group portfolio is a great strategic addition and complements our expanding operations in the UK and furthermore, now allows us entry into the Irish market. "We are committed to working closely with the KFC brand team to invest in the portfolio we are acquiring, and to open new restaurants. There is already a strong development pipeline for us to work towards developing."

Paula McKenzie, general manager at KFC UK and Ireland, added: "We're pleased that EG Group has acquired these restaurants – it shows confidence in investing in KFC and comes at an exciting time for our brand, off the back of unprecedented sales growth in 2020 so far.

"The acquisition demonstrates EG Group's ability to be a partner of choice and we're looking forward to supporting them as they unlock further investment and growth in the years ahead."

Freeths advised EG Group on the deal. The company has also entered into a binding agreement to acquire Sydney-listed Oliver's Real Food, which operates 24 sites across Australia.

Zuber Issa said: "EG delivers innovative food and convenience offers to customers internationally and we are committed to bringing market leading offers to our Australian customers. In Oliver's we see a concept that meets a global trend towards healthy and sustainable eating."

Mike McMenamin, EG Australia chief executive, added: "Oliver's has developed a strong following in Australia, and has been very well received by our customers in trials at a number of our stores.

"This acquisition presents a great opportunity for us to enter the Australian restaurant market and the potential to enhance our convenience offer across our 500+ store network. We look forward to the Oliver’s team joining the EG Australia family." The Oliver's transaction is subject to customary terms and conditions including, Oliver’s shareholder approval and court approval. Completion is expected to occur mid-2020.

Citigroup is acting as financial advisor and Allen & Overy LLP as legal adviser to EG Group on the Oliver’s deal.