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CPK inks deal to open in Taiwan

California Pizza Kitchen is expanding into the market of Taiwan with a new franchise partner who plans to open at least six restaurants there over the next five years, the company said Monday.

The Taiwan locations will be operated by Quanta Foods, an international franchise operator that also has had joint-venture agreements in the past with McDonald’s and T.G.I. Friday’s. Currently, Quanta Foods is the exclusive franchisee for the Outback Steakhouse brand in Taiwan and operates other independent restaurants.

The 265-unit CPK chain includes 35 international locations in China, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, South Korea, Guam, India, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

The sluggish recovery in the United States has forced restaurant companies across all segments to look for growth opportunities overseas.

In the company’s first-quarter report in May, CPK officials said they expected both international and domestic growth to pick up this year with 10 locations scheduled to debut in other countries, including three that have opened — two in Mexico and one in India. Later this year, a second restaurant in Shanghai is planned.

Five domestic locations are expected to open in 2011.

Last month, the Los Angeles-based California Pizza Kitchen Inc. agreed to a $470 million acquisition by private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital in a going-private deal expected to close in the third quarter.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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