The Herbert Group, which is the UK’s largest KFC franchise, has undergone a refinancing programme to support its merger and acquisition strategy.

The Marlow-based company, which is led by Andy Purnell and currently operates 119 KFCs across the UK and Ireland, has secured a £20m debt facility from Lloyds Bank.

In addition, the bank has provided a £2.5m revolving credit facility to support working capital for the company, which has an annual turnover of over £130m.

“The group remains extremely active in seeking out opportunities to grow and develop our existing store and brand portfolio,” said Jason Carlisle, finance director of the Herbert Group

“To support these plans and with the support of Lloyds Bank we have the funding structure and resources to identify suitable acquisition targets and consolidate our position as the largest KFC franchise in the UK and Ireland.”

Sharon Murphy, relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The Herbert Group is a long-standing client, which has achieved significant scale in recent years as a result of its ambitious management team and targeted growth strategy.

“Facilitating an expansion plan requires careful financial planning, which is why we work with firms like The Herbert Group to help support their growth as part of our wider commitment to help Britain prosper.”

KFC announced earlier this year that it was introducing three new franchise partners into its business, whilst twelve existing KFC franchisees had been identified to purchase bundles of restaurants it placed on the market late last year.

MCA revealed in December that parent company Yum! Brands had appointed advisors to explore the sale of the majority of KFC’s company-owned sites in the UK.

In line with the global QSR operator’s strategy to make its business more “efficient and capital light”, it appointed BDO to market a c180-strong package of company-owned sites spread across the UK, which is understood to have a combined value of c£300m.