Lotte sells Burger King Japan to Affinity Equity

Affinity Equity Partners of Hong Kong has bought Burger King’s Japanese business from South Korea’s Lotte Group for an undisclosed sum.

A new entity set up by Affinity, Burger King Japan Holdings, is expected to take over the roughly 100 fast-food outlets next month, reports Nikkei Asian Review.

The US burger chain had pulled out of Japan in 2001 following poor earnings, but re-entered the market in 2007 when Lotte and Japan-based Revamp bought the franchise and ran it as Burger King Japan. Three years later the business was transferred to Lotte subsidiary Lotteria.

Meanwhile, rival McDonald’s has maintained leadership in the market despite a slowdown and store closures in the past few years, pushing Burger King to seek a new approach.

Affinity bought the Burger King South Korean franchise last year from VIG Partners for US$170 million. Meanwhile, Affinity is raising $5 billion for its fifth fund, which exceeds its $3.8 billion fund in 2013.

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