Papa John’s signs the largest franchise deal in its history

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Papa John’s International Inc (NASDAQ: PZZA) jumped 4.0% on Friday as shareholders cheered plans of a major expansion in China – one of the world’s fastest-growing pizza-delivery markets.

Papa John’s to open 1,350 new stores in Southern China

Papa John’s on Friday said it had partnered with FountainVest (private equity company) to open over 1,350 new locations in Southern China by the end of the next decade. It’s the largest franchise deal the American pizza company has signed in its history.  

On CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, Papa John’s co-CEO Rob Lynch agreed the company was underpenetrated in its current markets but said the new deal will help remedy that.

This is a huge deal. It’s probably the 2nd largest development agreement in QSR history. We have about 200 restaurants in China today, and this will grow that footprint dramatically. Franchisees are putting their capital into our system. They believe in our long-term future.

Papa John’s is committed to expanding its global footprint

The agreement is particularly exciting as it single-handedly grows Papa John’s global store count by nearly 25%. The pizza chain is committed to expanding its global footprint and signed a deal in late November to open 60 new locations in Kenya and Uganda.

Lynch acknowledged the rising tensions between China and the United States but said pizza “brings us all together”.

We fundamentally believe that everyone likes pizza. It brings us all together, the world deserves better pizza, and we deliver it. Bringing our pizza to countries that may be challenged in a multitude of ways, we think can bring people together.

Papa John’s will be reporting its quarterly results next month. Its stock closed 2021 with a 45% gain.  

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