Pizza Express sold to Chinese private equity group Hony Capital for £900m
Expansion of the British restaurant chain into the Asia market is seen as key for its growth
British restaurant chain Pizza Express has been bought by a Chinese equity firm for about £900million.
Beijing-based Hony Capital’s deal with Gondola Group, which also owns Zizzi and ASK, is the “largest in the European restaurant sector in the past five years,” the firms said in a joint statement.
“Under Gondola’s ownership, Pizza Express has built a strong management team, led by Richard Hodgson, which will remain with the business,” the companies said, Reuters reports.
Expansion into the Asia market is seen as one of the company’s key areas of growth, with the restaurant having opened its first Beijing outpost two months ago.
It also has 12 in Hong Kong and nine in Shanghai, as well as over 400 around the UK and branches in Gibraltar, Qatar and Mumbai.
Private equity firm Cinven had bought the Gondola Group in 2006, but was reported earlier this year to be considering breaking this restaurant division apart.
Cinven has reportedly started to sell off the individual chains within Gondola after concluding that it would be too difficult to find a buyer for the entire business, according to the Financial Times.
Burger chain Byron, which had been one of Gondola’s assets previously, was sold to investment group Hutton Collins for £100million in October last year.
The latest sale, however, demonstrates the growing interest that Chinese investors have in British food and beverage companies, commentators say.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...