San Fernando Valley Business Journal

DineEquity Plans Five-Nation Expansion

By Helen Floersh Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DineEquity Inc. on Tuesday announced deals to expand its Applebee’s and IHOP chains into five new countries by 2025.

The Glendale restaurant group has signed four multi-unit development agreements with franchisees in Thailand, India, Bahrain, Oman and Panama. The agreements are part of DineEquity’s effort to double its international presence by 2021, mainly through outposts in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Since 2014, DineEquity has opened 80 restaurants outside the U.S. and is committed to creating 200 more, according to a company press release.

“We continue to see international expansion of our two brands as an important growth engine,” Julia Stewart, chief executive, said in a prepared statement. Enthusiasm from new and existing franchisees has reinforced the company’s confidence in its ability to meet its five-year growth objectives, she added.

The agreements announced Tuesday will introduce the IHOP brand to markets in the Asia Pacific region, while Applebee’s growth is poised for Latin America and the Middle East. Restaurant operator King Food Group Co. Ltd. will establish 10 IHOP locations in Thailand by 2021 through affiliate King of Pancakes Co. Ltd.; another 20 will open in India by 2025 under Kwality Group’s Kwals Catering Private Ltd.

Middle East shipping and logistics executive Mohammed Fakhro will open six Applebee’s restaurants in Bahrain and Oman by 2023. Five more will be completed in Panama by 2021 under hospitality developer and DineEquity franchisee Collins Rada Group Inc., which opened the country’s first IHOP restaurant last May in Panama City.

DineEquity has outposts of its concepts in 18 countries, all 50 United States and three U.S. territories. In late 2017, the company plans to open its first hybrid IHOP-Applebee’s location at the Millender Center in Detroit.

Shares of DineEquity (DIN) rose $1.43, or 1.9 percent, on Tuesday to close at $76.99 on the New York Stock Exchange.