Investment holding company Pan Malaysia has signed an agreement with Inter Mark Resources to acquire a 51% stake in the fast-food chain A&W Malaysia.

The move will enable Pan Malaysia to enter the quick service restaurant (QSR) segment.

The deal, which is currently valued at approximately $5m (MYR21m), will allow Pan Malaysia to diversify its earnings and revenue base, which is currently focused on chocolate and confectionery, by moving into the QSR business.

According to the Pan Malaysia filing with Bursa Malaysia, completion of the acquisition is subject to Inter Mark Resources receiving permission from A Great American Brand International to terminate the international franchise and development agreement signed between the two entities in July 2019.

Additionally, the deal is subject to the execution of a new franchise and development agreement between A Great American Brand International, A&W Malaysia, as well as Inter Mark managing the business of A&W Malaysia on terms that will be agreed between Inter Mark, A&W and Pan Malaysia.

Once all the agreements are finalised, Pan Malaysia will own a 51% stake in A&W Malaysia, while the remaining 49% stake will be held by Inter Mark.

The deal will allow A&W Malaysia to become the master developer and exclusive franchisee in the region for the A&W brand.

Currently, the fast-food chain operates 62 outlets in the Peninsula Malaysia area, the majority of which are located in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

A&W intends to expand its footprint and aims to open 100 locations in the country by 2023.

This would allow it to become one of the top three QSR operators in the country.

According to the Bursa Malaysia filing, the Malaysian foodservice sector is expected to grow from $15.4bn (MYR64.9bn) in 2020 to $26.04bn (MYR109.08bn) in 2025.