US fast-food chain Taco Bell opens first unit in Romania

US fast-food chain Taco Bell opens first unit in Romania Taco Bell Romania

BUCHAREST (Romania), October 12 (SeeNews) - US-based chain of fast-food restaurants Taco Bell on Thursday opened its first unit in Romania following a 350,000 euro ($413,301) investment, its local operator, Sphera Franchise Group, said.

The 170 sq m restaurant is located in Baneasa Shopping City mall, in northern Bucharest, and employs 40, Sphera Franchise Group said in a press release.

"We are very happy with this new opening, especially because this is the only Taco Bell within a range of 1,208 km in Central and Eastern Europe,"   Sphera Franchise Group CEO, Mark Hilton, said.

Taco Bell is based in Irvine, California with over 7,000 restaurants worldwide, of which more than 80% are owned and operated by independent franchisees and licensees.

Sphera Franchise Group was created in June and operates the outlets of KFC, Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut Delivery and Taco Bell in Romania. Sphera is one of the biggest restaurant groups in Romania, with overall sales of over 130 million euro per year, 100 locations and over 4,000 employees. It also runs KFC's operations in Moldova and in the northeastern part of Italy.

On Monday, Sphera Franchise Group said it plans to list up to 25% of its shares through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, BVB, by the end of 2017.

The offering is subject to market conditions and the approval of the prospectus by the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority, ASF. The company’s shares are planned to be listed on the Regulated Spot market of the BVB.

($=0.8468 euro)

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