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Popeyes_Shanghai_RESTAURANT_IMAGE_-_CHINA_exterior_.jpg Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
TH International Ltd., which has 600 Tim Hortons units in China, signs deal with parent Restaurant Brands International for Popeyes in the country. This is a unit in Shanghai, opened in May 2020.

Tim Hortons operator signs deal as exclusive Popeyes developer in China

600-unit TH International Ltd. completes all-share transaction with parent RBI

TH International Ltd., which owns rights to Tim Hortons in China, has closed a deal to become the exclusive operator and developer of the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen brand in mainland China, the companies announced Thursday.

Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International, which owns both brands, has said China is integral for growth of the 4,100-unit Popeyes brand.

“We are very excited about growing the Popeyes brand in China as part of our broader global growth strategy,” said David Shear, president of RBI International, in a statement. “We have strong confidence in our partner who has a deep understanding of the Chinese market and we believe it will position us well for success in the country.”

Peter Yu, chairman of Tims China. “With this transaction, Tims China gains a tremendous additional pathway for growth in the world’s most compelling consumer market. The track record of our team, who led the development of Tim Hortons in China from a standing start to over 600 stores in under five years, highlights the strength of our well-honed store development platform and infrastructure.”

In the all-share transaction, Tims China acquired PLKC International Ltd., or Popeyes China, which holds the exclusive rights to develop and sub-franchise the Popeyes brand in mainland China and Macau.

The companies said Popeyes China brings $30 million in cash, which will further strengthen Tims China’s balance sheet, and Tims China will earmark an additional $60 million to develop its Popeyes China business over the coming years.

Yongchen Lu, CEO of Tims China, said: “The combination brings extensive operational and development synergies, and we look forward to introducing our more than 12 million loyalty club members to Popeyes later this year.”

Popeyes opened its first restaurant in Shanghai in May 2020.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as international legal counsel to Tims China.

TH International Ltd. is the parent company of the master franchisees of Tim Hortons coffee shops in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. This deal adds Popeyes restaurants in mainland China and Macau. Tims China was founded by Cartesian Capital Group and Tim Hortons Restaurants International, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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