Yum! to enter Myanmar

Yum! Brands is to enter Myanmar in a joint venture.

Singapore listed company Yoma Strategic announced Monday a joint venture with the US fast food giant to take the KFC restaurant brand into southeast Asian nation.

The first outlet will open next year.

“Bringing KFC to Myanmar is an important step to achieving Yoma Strategic’s goal in being a key player in the country’s food and beverage sector,” Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic, said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange.

“Chicken is a staple protein in Myanmar and our people recognise the KFC brand.”

Reinforcing Pun’s comment, an unofficial Facebook page for KFC Burma already has more than 15,000 likes.

Yoma has already partnered with Parkson to take the department store brand into Myanmar, which has a population of 50 million.

KFC boasts US$23 billion in global sales and more than 18,000 restaurants in 118 countries.

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    Andrew posted on October 13, 2014

    This morning Yum! Brands announced that they are launching the first KFC outlet via Yoma Strategic Holdings (YSH) in 2015. After many false starts and even a much publicised taste test in May 2013 in Inya Lake Hotel by KFC together with the launch of a Myanmar Phantom KFC Facebook page - we are finally seeing KFC announcing their entrance into the Myanmar market. Yum! like so many American companies were hampered by the US sanctions that effectively prevents them from finding suitable local business tycoons who were on the US sanction list as partner. Serge Pun of YSH is probably one of the very few tycoons in Myanmar that is not on the US Sanction List. This probably puts Yum! Brands at a disadvantage when it comes to searching for viable partner who own property in downtown Yangon and can pass the due diligence test that is required by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). The negotiation was probably even harder for Yum! Brands as they were not negotiating from a position of strength like they are used to in so many Asian markets. We are encouraged that KFC finally made it to Yangon. For Colonel Sander it is never too late. It will be interesting to see where KFC will open their first flagship store as it is a challenge to look for a retail space in prime downtown locations that are greater than 5,000 sq feet in Yangon at the moment. Author: Andrew Tan – Managing Director of Consult-Myanmar Co Ltd in Yangon reply

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