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Church's buys Popeyes units in Texas

ATLANTA Church's Chicken, the 1,600-unit quick-service operator based here, said Tuesday that it had acquired 10 Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits locations in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas. The company said it was part of its strategy to appeal to the growing Hispanic market.

The company said it would convert six of the restaurants into company-owned Church's units. Plans for the other four sites have not been determined. Church's said the acquisition will give it 39 restaurants in the Rio Grande Valley, which borders Mexico, and more than 50 percent of quick-service chicken sales in the market.

Harsha Agadi, Church's chief executive, said, "This aggressive growth in the Rio Grande Valley is our commitment to grow in Hispanic communities and provide our tradition of quality, excellence and value while broadening our footprint strategically."

The company also said the acquisition represented a strategic marketing direction for Church's, "which counts the Hispanic market as one that is particularly important to their core business." The company said a third of its customer base systemwide is Hispanic.

Farnaz Wallace, chief marketing officer for Church's said, "Hispanic customers are a primary target for our brand, and the Rio Grande Valley is our most valued market."

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