S.Africa's Famous Brands buys 51 pct of Italian restaurant chain


South Africa’s biggest fast-food restaurant chain Famous Brands will take a 51 percent stake in Lupa Osteria, an Italian restaurant business, it said on Monday, in a drive to extend its presence in the casual dining sector.

The company, which runs Steers, Debonairs Pizza and Wimpy restaurants, did not disclose financial details of the deal.

Lupa Osteria co-founders Guy Cluver and Chris Black plan to expand the business to six restaurants in KwaZulu-Natal and in the long-term have a network of 35 in South Africa and select African countries. The business runs three at present.


“The transaction furthers our ambition to extend our presence in this market space and aligns well with the growing consumer trend towards high-quality informal enjoyment and appreciation of authentic craft-style food,” Famous Brands Chief Executive Darren Hele 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.