The founder of Splendid Hospitality Group, the operator of c20 hotels across the UK and backer of Splendid Restaurants, which is behind the Absurd Bird and Jack & Alice concepts, has become one of KFC’s new franchisees, MCA has learnt.

Shiraz Boghani and Nadeem Boghani, who head up the family-owned Splendid business, are believed to have set up the new company, Splendid Restaurants (Colonel) Ltd, to oversee the new franchise operation that is thought to be based in the south east.

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.

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.

The company is believed to be looking to increase its presence in the south east and London especially, helped by the introduction of its new smaller urban format and a delivery option with Just Eat.

Splendid Restaurants currently operates four Absurd Birds, three Jack & Alice sites and the Cha Chaan Teng restaurant in Holborn.