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Photo by Vincent Isore/IP3/Getty Images

Private equity firm Hillhouse Capital is in early talks to lead a takeover offer for Yum China, a New York-listed company that is the exclusive operator of KFC and Pizza Hut stores in mainland China, according to The Information.

Why it's a big deal: Yum China is the country's largest fast-food purveyor, with over 8,000 stores.

Deal size: Yum China, which was spun out of Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM) in 2016, saw its market cap soar to nearly $14 billion on the news.

Bottom line: "A takeover led by Hillhouse, known for its early bets on Tencent and Didi Chuxing, could accelerate Yum China’s efforts to outfit its brick-and-mortar stores with high-tech initiatives that appeal to Chinese millennials." — Yunan Zhang & Juro Osawa, The Information

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.