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Detroit - Little Caesars® Pizza is adding a big slice to its international markets with a major franchise agreement totaling 400 restaurants. Little Caesars Japan (LCJ), a newly formed company, has agreed to open the restaurants over the next three years. A second agreement for an additional 300 international restaurants to open in Latin America will be announced at the beginning of the new year.

The pizza chain has been on an aggressive agenda for development in international markets and anticipates doubling its current international 250 restaurant count by the end of 2000 and quadrupling that number by 2003. In markets beyond the U.S., Little Caesars tripled its number of restaurants in the last three years.

"We are building a global brand and are extremely excited about entering Japan, the fourth largest food industry market in the world," said Harsha V. Agadi, COO for Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. "The key to success for American brands overseas is a strong local partner, and our partners in Japan bring a lot to the table."

Yoshiaki Tanaka heads LCJ as its CEO. The Tokyo-based company recently opened four Little Caesars restaurants in Niigata and already is planning its next opening. Tanaka, a former senior executive for Citibank, has been successful in developing two great brands - Ford and Citibank - in Japan.

"The emphasis on high quality and service excellence tied directly to good product pricing will propel market development in the months ahead," said Tanaka. "It is the perfect time in the Japanese economy for the famous Little Caesars concept of Pizza!Pizza!®"

In addition, Foxmark International, a market-entry consulting firm, is a partner in the Little Caesars business. Philip R. Foxwell, executive vice president of Foxmark said, "We are excited about launching one of America's premier quick service brands here. Little Caesars will be well accepted in the Japanese market for its focus on quality, service and value."

Little Caesars has restaurants in the United States and the following 16 international markets: Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, South Korea, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, the Philippines, Ecuador, Egypt, Aruba, Iceland, Guatemala and now Japan.

SOURCE Little Caesar Enterprises

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