KFC franchisees' $1.7 billion buyout bid in Malaysia clears a hurdle

KUALA LUMPUR Mon Nov 5, 2012 6:26am EST

A customer leaves a KFC fast food restaurant in Dengkil, outside Kuala Lumpur November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

A customer leaves a KFC fast food restaurant in Dengkil, outside Kuala Lumpur November 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A $1.7 billion bid for Malaysia's two main KFC fast food franchisees by a consortium that includes private equity firm CVC Capital Partners cleared one of two hurdles after shareholders in one of the firms approved the deal on Monday.

About 99 percent of KFC Holdings (Malaysia) Bhd KFCK.KL voted at an extraordinary general meeting in favor of the deal, which values the company at 4 ringgit per share.

The bid for KFC Holdings and QSR Brands Bhd QSRB.KL was made in December by CVC CVC.UL and the investment arm of Malaysia's Johor state. The Employee Provident Fund joined the consortium in May.

While the nod from the KFC Holdings shareholders moves the deal closer to fruition, its success will hinge on whether QSR shareholders also back it on Tuesday.

Several KFC Holdings and QSR shareholders, speaking to Reuters before the meetings, said the terms of the offer that is nearly a year old undervalues the companies.

Shareholders of KFC Holdings also voted in favor of a proposal to pay 1 ringgit for each of the company's warrants at a separate meeting also on Monday. (Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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