Brazil's Burger King operator signs franchising deal with Popeyes

Consumers line up at a Burger King restaurant in Sao Paulo, Brazil October 20, 2017. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The operator of Burger King’s restaurants in Brazil has signed a 20-year agreement to become the master franchisee of U.S. chain Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, it said in a statement on Tuesday, as the firm deploys fresh cash following a December IPO.

Under the terms of the deal, the value of which was not disclosed, BK Brasil Operacao e Assessoria a Restaurantes SA BKBR3.SA has agreed to a number of long-term goals, including the opening of 300 new Popeyes restaurants within 10 years.

“Chicken consumption in Brazil has grown more than any other protein in the country, including beef and swine. That fact illustrates the differentiated position that Popeyes offers, with a unique opportunity to attract new customers,” BK Brasil said.

The move puts BK Brasil in direct competition with Brazil’s Grupo Sforza, the nation’s operator of KFC, among other brands.

BK Brasil raised 2.2 billion reais ($664 million) in an initial public offering in December.

Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Sandra Maler