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Middle East's Americana signs Pizza Hut franchisee deal for Saudi Arabia

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DUBAI, July 5 (Reuters) - Middle East franchisee Americana on Tuesday said it had reached a deal with Pizza Hut parent firm Yum Brands to open 100 Pizza Hut branches in Saudi Arabia over the next three years. Americana, which operates Pizza Hut franchised branches elsewhere in the region, will open up to 30 locations in Saudi Arabia's largest cities and regions by early 2023, it said.

The deal excludes the Saudi city of Jeddah, Americana said.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is the most populous Arab state in the Gulf, with a population of roughly 34 million.

Sources told Reuters in April that Americana Group had hired banks for a potential dual listing in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Founded in Kuwait in 1964, Americana operates 1,800 restaurants across the region, according to its website. It also operates the franchises for KFC, Hardee's and Krispy Creme, among others. (Writing by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Jason Neely)