American fast-food restaurant chain KFC is transferring its Russian business to a local operator, the latest in a string of Western corporations to leave Russia since the start of its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
The chain’s owner, Yum!Brands holding, said on October 25 that it had signed an agreement to sell all 70 KFC restaurants it owns in Russia, the operating system, and its franchise to Smart Services Ltd, which is run by Russian KFC franchisees Konstantin Kotov and Andrei Oskolkov.
The buyer will be responsible for rebranding the restaurants and retaining existing employees.
The Russian business daily Kommersant reported that the fast-food outlets will start operating under the Russian fast-food brand Rostic’s.
There are about 1,000 KFC restaurants in Russia. Almost all of them are managed by independent owners under licensing or franchise agreements.
Many Western companies have left Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Starbucks and McDonald’s were among American corporations to announce their exit, while French food conglomerate Danone said earlier this month that it was also selling most of its Russian operations.