Pizza Hut completes management buyout after £60m turnaround

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pizza Hut completes management buyout after £60m turnaround

Related tags: Pizza hut

The senior team at Pizza Hut Restaurants has completed a management buyout (MBO) of the chain from its private equity backer Rutland Partners.

The MBO will see CEO Jens Hofma, who has been with the group since 2009, take control of the UK business in a reported £100m deal.

Rutland Partners acquired the company in 2012 and invested £60m in a major turnaround programme​ that saw a new design and menu rolled out across the chain’s UK sites.

It followed a period of under-investment in the group in the early 2000's. Pizza Hut posted operational losses of £17m in 2011 and struggled to remain relevant while other pizza and pasta chains such as Ask Italian, Pizza Express and Strada expanded at breakneck speed across high streets.

Pizza Hut, which ran 307 UK sites in 2014, now operates 260 dine-in restaurants in England, Wales and Scotland.

The chain says the revamp has led to “consistent sales growth” and increased EBITDA in excess of £17m. The group, which first opened in the UK in 1973, claims it is now the leading casual dining restaurant in the UK by footfall.

The new ownership structure will see Pizza Hut look at further growth in the UK market under a new franchise agreement with its brand owner, Yum! Brands.

“Five years ago, we began an incredible journey and we’re now experiencing the true extent of the positive impact Rutland Partners’ investment and guidance has made to the business,” says Hofma.

“Our focus has been on our three most important assets: our people, our Huts and our menu. Our investment and strategy in those areas has helped us to revitalise our estate and cement our status in the UK’s fast-casual dining market.

“As we take control of the next stage, our mission remains unchanged: to be the most loved place to eat and work.”

The buyout has been assisted with funding from Pricoa Capital Group, the international private capital investment arm of PGIM.

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