SOUTH AFRICA – Grand Parade Investments (GPI), the master franchise holder for Burger King in SA, is in talks with an unnamed buyer to offload a majority stake in the local operations of the US fast-food chain it bought for more than R700m (US$48m).

Grand Parade will maintain a minority interest in line with its strategy to become a pure investment company.

“It is our intention to retain a non-operational minority interest in the business. This allows us to enter the phase where GPI migrates towards a pure investment company,” the company report stated.

The move comes as the group approved sell of its remaining 30% stake in Sun Slots for more than R500 million (US$34.3m) having exited Dunkin Donuts and Baskin-Robbins earlier in the year, as well as disposing of its stake in Spur.

The shareholders voted by a majority of 66.64 percent in favour of the proposal to offload Sun Slots, the proceeds of which would be used to pay down debt held against the shares and to pay a special dividend.

The investment holding company did not reveal who the interested party of Burger King was stating, “Shareholders are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a full announcement is made.”

The leisure and gaming company also announced that its founder and long-standing chair Hassen Adams would step down at the end of January 2020 but would remain part of the company’s board.

In July, Hassen had switched to a non-executive role, having also sold 20-million of his shares in the group for about R60m in April.

This reduced his holding in the group by approximately 40%, to about 8.4% at the time.

“As a founding director of the company, Dr Hassen Adams has been instrumental in the success and growth of GPI since inception,” the group said.

“The board would like thank Dr Hassen for his years of leadership, dedication and service to the company and wishes him well in his retirement and future endeavours.”

GPI was founded in 1997. The founding shareholders were made up of 20 000 individuals, predominantly from disenfranchised communities, who invested the seed capital of R28 million (US$1.9m).