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DineEquity Inc., which owns the IHOP chain of restaurants, said Monday it plans to open 40 new IHOP stores in the Middle East with Kuwait-based franchiser M.H. Alshaya Co. in its first major expansion outside of the U.S.
The restaurants will begin to open over the next 12 months in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt.
No financial terms were disclosed.
DineEquity, which also operates Applebee's Neighborhood Bar and Grill, has previously only opened stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. But it has been looking further afield lately, opening stores in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guatemala.
The company plans to open 55 to 65 new restaurants in 2011, the majority in the U.S.