The planned split of Yum! Brands into two companies should help it increase the number of restaurants it operates, possibly even tripling its current restaurant count, Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed says.

The parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell announced in October its plans to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies: Yum Brands! and Yum! China. Under the plans, each company will have distinct strategies and investment characteristics.

 “I feel like we had two powerful companies locked up in one, and now there’s unlimited potential,” Creed told USA Today. "I think we can triple the number of restaurants outside of China just like (Yum! China CEO Micky Pant) can triple the number inside China.”


“The emerging markets opportunity is huge,” Creed added. “Take Nigeria. In 10 years’ time it will have more people than Brazil, but we only have 27 restaurants there. We think we could have 900 percent growth just in Nigeria. Brazil, Turkey, Russia, India, all are seeing big growth. In two or three years, we think our unit count will surpass McDonald’s in Russia and India.”

Yum! Brands’ split into two companies, which is subject to various regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.