LOUISVILLE, KY. – Papa John’s International Inc. announced a partnership with FountainVest Partners to open more than 1,350 new stores across South China by 2040. The franchisee development agreement is the biggest in Papa John’s history.

“This partnership with FountainVest marks another major milestone in achieving Papa John’s global growth potential, reflecting both the scale of our brand’s global opportunity and the quality of franchisees that are investing in our future,” said Rob Lynch, president and chief executive officer of Papa John’s International. “Papa John’s has enormous global development whitespace in the US and in attractive growth markets, especially relative to our peers. Our new development agreement with FountainVest alone stands to grow Papa John’s current global unit count by 25%.”

FountainVest, one of Asia’s leading independent private equity firms, has also purchased a majority stake in current Papa John’s franchisee CFB Group. CFB owns and operates approximately 160 restaurants in Shanghai and across southern China.

“At FountainVest, our investment process begins by identifying growth-oriented, industry-leading enterprises that are aligned with the growth dynamics of the Chinese marketplace,” said Andrew Huang, managing director of FountainVest. “Papa John’s premium position offers an attractive opportunity in the QSR sector, which has already been proven in China and which we believe will continue to thrive. We look forward to working with the Papa John’s team as we rapidly scale the brand’s presence across China.”

Amanda Clark, Papa John’s chief development officer, added, “FountainVest is exactly the kind of partner we look to help grow our brand internationally. They are well-capitalized, experienced operators with deep knowledge of their local market. They clearly recognize our brand’s promising outlook and strong unit economics. Together, we will bring our ‘BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.’ promise to millions of new customers in one of the largest QSR markets in the world.”


In recent years, Papa John’s has opened stores in 15 new countries, including Spain, Portugal, Germany, Cambodia, Pakistan, France and Poland.