Food and beverages major Devyani International, the largest franchisee of Pizza Hut, KFC and Costa Coffee in India and an arm of diversified conglomerate RJ Corp, is gearing up to make a splash in the simmering hot QSR (quick-service restaurant) segment and make a market debut in the second half of 2021, sources with knowledge of the matter told Moneycontrol.
“Devyani International has initiated preliminary discussions for the proposed IPO and has engaged merchant bankers CLSA, Kotak Mahindra Capital and Edelweiss Securities,” one of the persons cited above shared about the Gurugram- headquartered firm, which is also backed by American restaurant behemoth Yum! Foods.
These IPO plans come on the back of the blockbuster listings of Burger King and Mrs Bector’s Food Specialities in December 2020 as the nationwide lockdown led to a spike in online food orders and a shift towards packaged consumer food items.
On December 18, 2020, Moneycontrol was the first to report the 2021 listing plans of another restaurant operator Sapphire Foods, which backs KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and counts Goldman Sachs and Samara Capital as its investors.
In fact, listed peer and pizza maker Jubilant Foodworks has also sizzled in trade since the recent addition of biriyani and kebabs to its portfolio.
“These are early days and the exact size of the Devyani International IPO will be determined later. But it is likely to be a combination of primary and secondary issue of shares and as of now the plan is to file the DRHP (draft red herring prospectus) by April end or early May 2021,” added a second person.
“Most companies who have begun listing work now are looking to file papers with Sebi with their March numbers. In the case of Devyani International, the IPO proceeds are likely to be used for further store or outlet expansion and trimming of debt,” elaborated a third person. A fourth person also confirmed the IPO plans, saying that QSR firms which have reached the appropriate scale and size over the years will look to hit the markets.
All the four persons spoke to Moneycontrol on condition of anonymity.
Moneycontrol is awaiting the response to an email query sent to RJ Corp and has sent reminders. This article will be updated as soon as we hear from the firm. Text messages sent to senior company officials of the group were left unanswered. Queries sent to CLSA, Kotak Mahindra Capital and Edelweiss Securities were left unanswered.
A CLOSER LOOK AT DEVYANI INTERNATIONAL & ITS PARTNERS
Devyani International is an associate company of Ravi K Jaypuria-led RJ Corp group, which is the largest bottler for Pepsico in India and has interests in beverages (including beer, milk, ice-cream), healthcare, real estate and education. Listed firm Varun Beverages, a manufacturer, bottler and distributor of beverages is part of RJ Corp.
According to its website, Devyani International Limited has a visibility of 500 plus outlets of Pizza Hut, KFC, Costa and other brands. It also has a food court, restaurants and bars ( FRB) vertical called Food Street which was started in 2009 at the New Delhi Domestic Airport, establishing its own signature brand Masala Twist and Vaango (south Indian cuisine). Operations have been extended to the Mumbai airport-where the company runs a spa, a passenger lounge and a bar.
RJ Corp has a pan-India presence and also has a business footprint in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Morocco, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Australia and Thailand, according to its website.
Yum! Brands, the second-largest QSR company in the world, picked up a minority stake in Devyani International in February 2020. This followed Devyani International’s acquisition of 74 KFC restaurants from Yum! over a period of 18 months.
“Yum! is looking at India as its next biggest bastion of growth after China, and the strategic equity investment strengthens our association with them,” Ravi Jaipuria, Chairman, RJ Corp had said back then.
“Over the next five years, DIL plans to invest over Rs 1,000 crore in growing its brands including KFC, Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee, Vaango and food courts,” Virag Joshi, President, Devyani International Limited, had added.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories primarily operating the company’s KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands.