Yum Brands plans to spin off China business

The owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell plans to spin off its China business into a separate, publicly traded company.

Shares of Yum Brands Inc. gained more than 4 percent in Tuesday premarket trading.

Yum Brands, which is based in Louisville, said that it believes the China business, called Yum China, could grow from its current 6,900 restaurants to more than 20,000 restaurants in the future.

The remaining Yum Brands business will concentrate part of its efforts on becoming more of a franchisor, with the goal of having at least 95 percent of its restaurants owned and operated by franchisees by the end of 2017. It currently has more than 41,000 restaurants globally.

The separation of the businesses is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

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