Investment firms are looking to buyout Yum China Holdings which operates quick service restaurant chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
In 2016, Yum China, which had a valuation of $13.6bn as per its closing price on 14 April, was split from owner Yum Brands! Inc and then listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Yum China currently has more than 8,100 restaurants in more than 1,200 cities.
Chinese investment firm Hillhouse Capital Group is intending to lead an association to acquire the restaurant operator in what could be one of the biggest M&A deals in Asia this year, according to Reuters sources.
Hillhouse has secured commitments worth more than $10bn for a new private equity fund. According to two sources, the investment firm has already tapped financiers for potential lending for the acquisition, as well as other investors to join them in the deal.
Previous Yum China chairman and CEO Sam Su, who has played a key role in its expansion in the country, currently is an operating partner at Hillhouse.
Global investment firm KKR & Co and Hong Kong-based regional firm Baring Private Equity Asia are also exploring the option to invest in the acquisition.
A decision is reportedly yet to be made on this buyout.
In January, Yum China opened two new Mexican-inspired Taco Bell restaurants in Shanghai.
The new outlets are located in a shopping mall in Wu Jiao Chang, and Feng Sheng Li, a lifestyle hub in Shanghai.
The chain has exclusive rights in mainland China to Taco Bell, which opened its first outlet in the country in 2016.