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Famous Brands buys stake in Mr Bigg's

Famous Brands says the deal will extend its footprint in Nigeria.

Famous Brands says the deal will extend its footprint in Nigeria.

JOHANNESBURG - South African fast-food restaurant operator Famous Brands said on Monday it would buy 49 percent of the restaurant arm of UAC of Nigeria Plc to bolster its presence in Africa's most populous country.

Famous Brands said the cash deal for an undisclosed amount gives it a wider footprint in Nigeria, where it has operated for the past 11 years through licence and franchise agreements, and is part of its strategy to expand further into Africa.

Stuck with slower growth at home, South African companies are increasingly looking to fast-growing Sub-Saharan markets.

UAC Restaurants has 165 franchised restaurants in Nigeria, with 57 of those in Lagos. That includes the popular Mr Bigg's brand, Famous Brands said.

Famous Brands operates the Steers and Wimpy fast-food restaurants in South Africa.

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