Vivo Energy plc (Vivo Energy), the pan-African retailer and distributor of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants, has agreed to form a non-fuel joint venture to accelerate the roll-out of KFC restaurants in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The 50:50 joint venture will manage and operate the restaurants in the three markets on behalf of Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings (Kuku Foods), who will remain the local KFC franchisee. Completion of this transaction is subject to standard legal agreements and regulatory and competition authority approval.
The restaurants, 22 in Kenya and 8 in Uganda, are located in shopping malls, city centre locations, and service stations. Kuku Foods plans to open its first KFC restaurant in Rwanda in 2019.
The 5 KFC restaurants operated by Kuku Foods Tanzania, the KFC franchisee in Tanzania, will not form part of the transaction.
The joint venture will enable a significant increase in the number of KFC restaurants in the portfolio in the coming years. It is envisaged that many of the new restaurants will be opened at Vivo Energy’s network of service stations across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, which leverages Vivo Energy’s retail footprint, with more countries to be considered in the future, based on market opportunities.
Commenting on the transaction, Christian Chammas, CEO of Vivo Energy, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Kuku Foods to replicate the KFC joint venture model we pioneered in Botswana and Côte d’Ivoire. Kuku Foods shares our ambition to invest in order to grow the number of restaurants and give more African customers access to the internationally renowned KFC brand. This partnership further demonstrates our ambition to continue to offer more convenience to satisfy the evolving needs of our growing number of African customers.”
Derrick Van Houten, Group CEO of Kuku Foods and Principal Operator of the KFC franchises, added: “Having launched our first KFC in East Africa in 2011, we have successfully grown the business over the last eight years. We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Vivo Energy to continue this growth, bringing our world-renowned KFC products and experience to as many customers as possible.”
KFC Africa’s General Manager, Tarun Lal concluded: “We are delighted that KFC can leverage the joint venture entered into between Vivo Energy and Kuku Foods to continue to grow its network of KFC restaurants in Africa. We are confident that the KFC franchisee will continue to provide customers with a great KFC experience, driving improvements in customer service and quality through its relationship with Vivo Energy.”
Notes to editors:
About Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings Limited (Kuku Foods):
Kuku Foods is KFC’s East Africa franchisee in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It was established in 2011 in Kenya, when it opened its first KFC Restaurant in Nairobi at Junction Mall. The business has expanded over the last eight years to 35 restaurants across East Africa, having twenty-two in Kenya, eight in Uganda and five in Tanzania. (Kuku Foods in Tanzania is not part of this transaction.) In 2019 Kuku Foods will be opening its first restaurant in Rwanda and continues with its expansion drive in Kenya and Uganda. Upon formation of the joint venture Kuku Foods will retain ownership of the local KFC franchises.
The company has achieved numerous awards and accolades including Delivery Operator of the Year 2018, Franchisee of the Year 2016 and KFC in Kenya was voted the most loved fast food brand in the 2015 coveted Taste Awards, People’s Choice category.
Its success in East Africa is attributed to a strong local management team and skilled workforce who are qualified and dedicated to providing outstanding customer service, interacting with customers in a meaningful way and helping the company grow. Kuku Foods employs over 1,000 well-trained team members at both its restaurants and head office level across the region. It continuously invests in developing its people and provides numerous learning and growth opportunities for each of them.