JOHANNESBURG, May 16 (Reuters) - South Africa’s biggest fast-food restaurant chain Famous Brands will take a 51 percent stake in recently launched local firm Salsa Mexican Grill, in a drive to extend its presence in the casual dining sector, the company said on Monday.
Famous Brands, which runs Steers, Debonairs Pizza and Wimpy restaurants, did not disclose financial details of the deal.
Salsa Mexican Grill opened its first restaurant in South Africa in 2015 and two more franchised restaurants are due to open this year.
Famous Brands sees a gap in the market for “fast-casual” Mexican food, Chief Executive Darren Hele said in a statement.
“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,” he said.
Despite the pressures on South African consumers, Famous Brands still sees plenty of opportunities to expand at home. It opened 213 restaurants in South Africa last financial year, and aims to add a further 202 in the current one. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Adrian Croft)