Yum Brands has exited the Russian market with the completion of the sale of its KFC business to Smart Service Ltd., a local operator led by Konstantin Yurievich Kotov and Audrey Eduardovich Oskolkov, the company said Monday. Both U.S. and Russian governments approved the sale, allowing for it to be completed.
The deal, which was originally announced in October, includes all 1,112 Russian KFC units, its operating system, master franchise rights and the trademark for the Rostik’s brand. KFC originally bought Rostik’s in 2011 and converted it into KFCs as part of Yum’s Russian expansion. The KFC units in Russia represented about 4% of KFC’s total unit count as of the beginning of 2022.
Smart Service will initially convert over 100 KFC restaurants to Rostik’s. The company, acting as master franchisor, will also work with other franchisees in Russia to rebrand KFCs to Rostik’s, which Yum said “would occur over time.”
Yum Brands previously sold its Russian Pizza Hut operations to a local operator last summer. Other brands, including McDonald’s and Starbucks, have also ceased operations in Russia following the country’s invasion into Ukraine.