KFC, the fast food chain, is to make its debut in a UK airport after signing franchise deal with HMSHost, MCA understands.

The 900-strong group, which is introducing three new franchise partners into its business, will open a site at Manchester Airport next month.

It is the first time the company, which is led in the UK & Ireland by Paula MacKenzie, has teamed up with HMSHost in the UK.

The company believes it can add a further 400 sites to its existing estate in the UK.

Earlier this year, MCA revealed that as well as introducing three new franchise partners into its business, twelve existing KFC franchisees have 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. This process, which will leave the brand with 50 company-owned sites in the UK, is set to be completed by the end of next year.

Earlier this month, the Herbert Group, which is the UK’s largest KFC franchise, announced it had 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, secured a £20m debt facility from Lloyds Bank.