Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell to return $13.5 billion to shareholders by 2019

Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N), owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, shared it expects to return as much as $13.5 billion to shareholders by 2019 after the separation of its China unit.

Yum Brands’ shares were up 1.2% at $88.45 before the bell on Tuesday.

The company said it would increase franchise restaurant ownership to 93%, from 77 % now, when the China business is spun off on October 31. The company aims to be least 98% franchised by the end of 2018.

Yum said it had bought back $5.2 billion of shares as a part of its previously announced capital return program of $6.2 billion, reducing its share count by about 16%.

The company also said it would reduce capital expenditure to about $100 million in 2019, from about $500 million in 2015.

Yum recently reported its first same-store sales drop in five quarters in China, blaming anti-U.S. protests after an international court rejected China’s claim to historic rights in the South China Sea.

Yum’s China business will begin trading on November 1 on the NYSE with the ticker symbol YUMC.

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