YUM! Brands sells UK Pizza Hut restaurants to Rutland Partners

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pizza hut, Management

Nick Morrill of Rutland Partners and Jens Hofma, managing director of the Pizza Hut Dine In business
Nick Morrill of Rutland Partners and Jens Hofma, managing director of the Pizza Hut Dine In business
The owner of Pizza Hut's global business, YUM! Brands, has sold its UK Pizza Hut restaurants to specialist restructuring investor Rutland Partners which it says will help it complete a turnaround of the business. 

As part of the deal, Rutland will operate the 330 restaurants under a franchise agreement with YUM! and will invest £20m in refurbishing and restructuring the estate which has already been subjected to a two-year turnaround strategy by YUM!.

Business transformation

Jens Hofma, managing director of the Pizza Hut Dine In business, will remain in his position along with the rest of the management team. He said the team was looking forward to working with Rutland Partners to help complete the transformation of the business. 

"I am truly delighted that we have secured new investment into the business," he said. "The 10,000 strong Pizza Hut Dine-In team is on a mission to put our guests at the centre of everything we do and to inject fun, energy and quality back into our restaurants."

Nick Morrill, managing partner of Rutland, which invests in a range of industries, from healthcare to construction, said despite Pizza Hut's recent struggle, he had been attracted by the 'iconic appeal' of the restaurant brand which serves three million customers per month. 

"The business has had its fair share of challenges over the past few years but the management team has put a clear turnaround plan in place that has already led to much improved performance over the past 12 months," he said: "We have been very impressed by the energy and capability of the team at all levels of the business and we are excited by the prospect of working with the management to drive the turnaround to completion.”

Delivery service

Pizza Hut UK's delivery business, known as YUM! (III) will remain owned by YUM! who will aim to grow it through franchise and equity new unit development. Rutland and YUM! (III), headed up by managing director Mark Fox, will collaborate, Fox said, to safeguard the success of the Pizza Hut brand as a whole in the UK. 

“We are extremely pleased to have completed the sale of the dine in business to Rutland Partners.  We have been impressed by their enthusiasm for the brand and their belief that they can work with the existing management to further refine and accelerate the turnaround which is already underway," added Fox. 

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