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Incoming CEO of Taco Bell’s parent ‘wouldn’t rule out’ an acquisition

David Gibbs

Stefanie Smith | CNBC

The incoming CEO of Taco Bell’s parent company Yum Brands is not ruling out adding another brand to its restaurant portfolio.

“We don’t need an acquisition to grow,” incoming CEO David Gibbs told analysts on a Wednesday conference call. “Our brands today are strong generally around the world, with plenty of growth opportunities, but we certainly wouldn’t rule out an acquisition.”

Gibbs, who is currently Yum’s chief operating officer, will replace outgoing CEO Greg Creed in January. Gibbs said that he would share more of his plans to drive growth in 2020 when he takes the helm.

In recent history, Yum’s deals have been related to technology. In December, Pizza Hut announced its acquisition of QuikOrder, the e-commerce platform that it had already been using to process some U.S. sales. At the time, Yum said it was one of its largest acquisitions to date. Last year, it also bought a 3% stake in third-party delivery provider GrubHub.

Its GrubHub investment weighed on Yum’s third-quarter profits after KFC’s parent company changed the fair value of the investment. The shares closed down 5.8% to 103.34 on Wednesday.

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