OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – NPC International announced on Jan. 19 it will acquire 36 Pizza Hut restaurants for $18.8 million cash plus an additional amount for inventory, prepaids and store cash.

The restaurants that are part of the deal are in and around Jacksonville, Fla., and include 27 delivery/carry-out units and nine dine-in restaurants. NPC said 30 of the restaurants generated $27.8 million in net product sales during the 53 weeks ended December 2011. The remaining six locations were not included because they were not open or under PHI management for a full year, according to the company.

The deal should close in February. Jim Schwartz, chairman and chief executive officer of NPC said the transaction should improve the company's overall credit statistics. NPC is the largest Pizza Hut franchisee, with 1,151 Pizza Hut units in 28 states.

"We are very excited to add this market to our portfolio and look forward to joining forces with the operations team in Jacksonville," Schwartz said. "These units are a perfect fit within our current geographical footprint which will allow us to leverage our existing operational infrastructure and expand our presence in the Florida market."