KFC owner Yum Brands completes spinoff of China business

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The owner of KFC and Taco Bell completed the spinoff of its China division, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange as a separate company Tuesday.

The Shanghai company, Yum China Holdings Inc., will run the KFC and Pizza Hut chains in mainland China and plans to open the first Taco Bell there before the end of this year. In all, Yum China has 7,300 restaurants in China.

Yum’s China brand was stung in the summer of 2014 by reports that one of its suppliers there allegedly using expired meat.

In the final quarter of that year, comparable store sales in China had slumped 16 per cent and the company struggled to right itself in a massive growth market.

Yum China is trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “YUMC.” The stock rose 76 cents, or 3 per cent, to $25 in morning trading Tuesday. Shares of Yum Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, added 9 cents to $62.13.

As part of the spinoff, shareholders of Yum Brands received one share of Yum China for each Yum Brands share they owned.