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Economy Mitsubishi Corp. cuts ties with KFC Japan


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Mitsubishi Corporation has decided to end its long-standing partnership with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Japan, which has lasted over fifty years since KFC's establishment in the country in 1970. Mitsubishi will sell its roughly 35 per cent ownership in KFC Holdings Japan Ltd. to The Carlyle Group Inc., an American investment firm, for approximately 40 billion JPY ($257 million), as announced by Mitsubishi on 20 May.


Photo credit: KFC Japan

Carlyle, which said KFC Holdings Japan has not realized its full potential, plans to speedily open more outlets and add new menu items to enhance its corporate value. The investment fund is expected to turn the company into a wholly owned subsidiary. KFC's Japanese operation has been cited as a successful example of a restaurant chain run by a Japanese trading house, which typically invests in companies across industries. Mitsubishi established KFC Holdings Japan in 1970 as an equally owned company with KFC Corp. of the United States. The trading house has not only supplied chicken and other ingredients but also dispatched management personnel to the franchise.

We have just one KFC left in our area. They can never seem to find good help or get an order correct or the chicken done right. I read about 50 comments on our branch and not one was good. For years , I went there at least once a month , now not for a year or two.
It sounds like a a chicken and egg sort of issue but which came first? Did the customer numbers dwindle because quality deteriorated or vice versa?
We've had a few scenarios like this here in Denmark but most of those have been down to owner stubbornness and inability to change with the times.
We literally had an iconic, thriving pizza place that existed since 1978 close down in 2023 just a few years after the children of the original owner had taken over. They'd driven it to bankruptcy with poor food stuff handling, insufficient cleaning, neglecting to deal with rat issues, or even notice in the first place that they had one.
It was a sad day when it closed down but only because we knew how good it'd been. The closure was definitely necessary.
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