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Fatburger targets China as first international market

SANTA MONICA Calif. The Fatburger fast-casual chain is planning to take its brand overseas for the first time by opening 25 units in China and adjacent territories by 2010.

The first unit is scheduled to open in September in Macao at the Venetian hotel and casino there. A second unit is expected to fire up its grill in Hong Kong around the same time, and two locations are slated to open in Beijing in 2008.

Ten of the 25 units planned will be operated as a joint venture with Grammy-winning artist and producer Pharrell Williams, lead singer and drummer for funk-rock band N.E.R.D., and partner in the production duo The Neptunes.

Company officials say they are also looking at expansion into Japan, the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. The Fatburger chain, with 53 franchised stores and 35 company locations in the U.S. and Canada, also plans to open another 24 stores domestically by the end of 2007.

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