Yum China soars more than 16% after report Hillhouse Capital wants to buy fast-food company

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pedestrians walk past a KFC restaurant in Shanghai, China.

Shares of Yum China shot up more than 16 percent on Thursday after The Information reported that Hillhouse Capital Group, one of China’s major investors in tech, is in talks to acquire the fast-food restaurant company.

Yum China stock was briefly halted due to volatility.

Hillhouse Capital, a private equity firm known for its investment in tech companies like Tencent, could help Yum China with its goal of incorporating more technology in its restaurants.

Hillhouse is planning to recruit other investors to form a consortium for its bid to buy Yum China, according to The Information, which cited three people familiar with the matter.

The talks, however, are in an early stage and the value of a deal is still being discussed, the people told The Information. The deal could still fall apart, they warned.

Yum China, a spin off of the original Yum Brands, is down more than 6 percent this year and currently has a $14.5 billion market capitalization. The company operates more than 8,000 KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in mainland China making it the biggest fast-food operator in the country, according to The Information.

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