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Americana Group and CKE restaurants announce development milestones and new country expansion agreement for Kazakhstan.

Americana Group, the Middle East’s most successful group of companies, operating consumer foods, restaurants, and food-related products have announced a new expansion agreement with CKE Restaurants, franchisor and operator of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® restaurants to build 12 Carl’s Jr. restaurants in Kazakhstan over the next five years.

CKE Restaurants and the Americana Group have a successful 30-year relationship with plans for continued growth in the Middle East and selected CIS countries. As the most active developer in the CKE system, the Americana Group has averaged 24 new restaurant openings per year in the past three years with plans to open approximately 27 Hardee’s restaurants in FY 2010.

“We have a successful history with the Americana Group and are confident that they will continue to demonstrate their knowledge, expertise and passion for the CKE brands as they expand in new and existing markets,” said Andrew F. Puzder, president and chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants. “International expansion remains to be a strategic focus at CKE.”

The Americana Group first opened Hardee’s in Kuwait in 1980 and currently operates Hardee’s in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. During FY 2009 Hardee’s will serve 48,000,000 meals to hungry guests across the Middle East and North Africa. Hardee’s has become synonymous with quality food and superior hospitality while it’s innovative burgers and sandwiches continue to set the brand apart from the QSR mainstream.

“The Americana Group knew that Hardee’s was the perfect brand to launch in Middle East because of its commitment to premium quality food and excellent guest service” said Amgad El Mofti, President of Americana Group. “We are now seeing the second generation of guests experiencing the same great food and hospitality that their parents have enjoyed at Hardee’s for nearly 30 years.”