Grupo Nutresa buys Colombia’s biggest fast food chain for $383m

BOGOTA (TIP): Colombia’s food industry conglomerate Grupo Nutresa has paid 830 billion pesos ($383.3 million) to buy the country’s largest fast food chain, El Corral, as the producer of pasta, chocolate and coffee expands into out-of-home consumption. The El Corral burger bar chain has 340 outlets with a more up-market ‘Gourmet’ guise for some stores. El Corral also holds the franchise for international brands including Papa John’s pizza, Yogen Fruz frozen yoghurt and Krispy Kreme donuts.

“The acquisition of Grupo El Corral is of great relevance to Nutresa as it situates us as a leader in restaurant operations in Colombia, with exceptional brands,” Nutresa’s chief executive Carlos Ignacio Gallego said in a statement late on Thursday. He said El Corral offered attractive growth and profit levels. Nutresa will finance the take-over with its own cash and bank credit lines. The purchase comes on top of other take-overs it has made in the last few years including the $758 million purchase of Tresmontes Lucchetti in Chile. Nutresa operates in 12 countries in the Americas and produces meat, roasted coffee, pasta and chocolate among other foods.

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