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Pizza Hut franchisee buys 40 more stores

CHARLESTON S.C. JEM Restaurant Group, a franchisee of about 100 Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants, said Monday it has purchased 40 additional Pizza Hut units under a subsidiary, Southeastern Pizza Group LLC.

Aformer chief operating officer at Pizza Hut, Jerry Bus, will work with JEM to operate the 40 locations, which are located throughout Columbus and Macon, Ga., and in Jacksonville, Fla. Pizza Hut is a Yum! Brands Inc. concept.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The assets purchased include real estate, leasehold interests and restaurant operating equipment, the company noted.

JEM Restaurant Group is based in Charleston, S.C., and owned by John McGrath. Its restaurants are located in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

“This is a unique opportunity in a very difficult operating environment,” McGrath said in a statement. “We believe the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands are well-positioned in the marketplace and our parent company, Yum Brands, has excellent leadership at its helm. Pizza Hut continues to introduce compelling new menu offerings of great quality food at attractive price points.”

Yum Brands is based in Louisville, Ky., and operates or franchises nearly 36,000 restaurants under various quick-service brands.

Contact Sarah E. Lockyer at [email protected].

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