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JOHANNESBURG -  Vivo Energy said on Thursday it had agreed to form a joint venture with Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings, the owner of KFC franchises in East Africa, to accelerate the growth of its current franchise portfolio of 30 restaurants in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Vivo Energy, the pan-African retailer and distributor of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants, said the 50:50 venture would manage and operate the restaurants in the three markets on behalf of Kuku Foods, which would remain the local KFC franchisee.

"It is envisaged that many of the new restaurants will be opened at Vivo Energy’s network of service stations across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, which leverages Vivo Energy’s retail footprint, with more countries to be considered in the future, based on market opportunities," the company said.

Vivo Energy CEO Christian Chammas said the company was keen to replicate the KFC joint venture model it had pioneered in Botswana and Côte d’Ivoire.

"Kuku Foods shares our ambition to invest in order to grow the number of restaurants and give more African customers access to the internationally renowned KFC brand," Chammas said.

"This partnership further demonstrates our ambition to continue to offer more convenience to satisfy the evolving needs of our growing number of African customers."

- African News Agency (ANA)