Famous Brands buys 51% stake in Salsa Mexican Grill

Famous Brands, South Africa's largest fast-food restaurant chain and which runs Steers, Debonairs and Wimpy, has announced that it will take a 51% stake in the recently launched local firm, Salsa Mexican Grill. Although the financial details of the deal have not yet been disclosed the company said the decision comes as part of its drive to extend its presence in the casual dining sector. Darren Hele (pictured), Famous Brands chief executive, said in a statement that the company had identified a gap in the market for casual and “fast” Mexican food, and that the acquisition fitted in with Famous Brands’ strategy in terms of its bouquet of brands. Hele said:

"Although we explored the possibility of establishing a start-up concept of our own, by acquiring a controlling stake in Salsa Mexican Grill we gained significant strategic advantage given the brand's first-to-market head-start and best-in-class offering."

Salsa Mexican Grill opened its first South African restaurant in Fourways, Johannesburg last year, with two more due to open sometime this year - one in Parkhurst and one in Bedfordview. The Mexican fast-food concept was brought over from the US by businessmen George Nicolopoulos and Symeon Yiallouris.

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