Suntory Holdings Ltd has announced plans to sell all its share holdings in its fast-food restaurant subsidiary First-Kitchen, to Wendy’s Japan. The sale price was not disclosed but is estimated to be in the billions of yen.
By selling First-Kitchen to rival hamburger chain Wendy’s, Suntory said it intends to focus its management resources back on its core business: non-alcoholic beverages and liquor, Fuji TV reported.
Wendy's said it will utilize existing First-Kitchen stores to strengthen its presence in the hamburger industry and will continue to operate stores using the existing First-Kitchen brand name.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
First-Kitchen has 130 stores, with 100 of them concentrated in the Tokyo metropolitan area and annual sales of about 10 billion yen.
On the contrary, Wendy’s success in the Japanese fast food market hasn’t been as successful. Formerly operating under the Japanese retailer Daiei Group (until its purchase by Zensho Co Ltd in 2002), Wendy’s pulled out of the Japanese market in 2009 before returning in 2011. Currently, Wendy’s Japan operates just one store in Shinjuku’s Akebonobashi area.© Japan Today