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Rutland Partners takes slice of Pizza Hut’s UK restaurants

9 Nov 2012

Mid-market turnaround specialist Rutland Partners has bought Pizza Hut UK’s dine-in restaurant business from fast food operator Yum! Brands.

Rutland has acquired the share capital of Pizza Hut UK Ltd, the company which owns 330 dine in restaurants and will operate them under a franchise agreement from Yum!

Rutland will invest £20m in support of a £60m refurbishment and restructuring programme of the business.

Yum! will continue to act as franchisor for the dine in business whilst also growing the Pizza Hut delivery business in the UK through franchise and equity new unit development.

The current management team of the Pizza Hut Dine-In business, under the leadership of Jens Hofma (pictured centre-right) will remain with the business.

The team was assembled to implement a turnaround and has spent the last two years formulating and testing the strategy, it said.

Clearwater Corporate Finance advised on the deal.

Nick Morrill, managing partner, Rutland, (pictured centre-left), said, “We are excited about the iconic appeal of the Pizza Hut brand and its status as the leading casual dining brand in the UK.

“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.

“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.”

In July AltAssets reported Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners was out of the running to buy the UK fast food chain.

Leeds-based turnaround specialist Endless was also at one point looking to buy the company.

To date Rutland has raised over £500m across two funds: Rutland Fund (£210m) and Rutland Fund II (£320m).

Recently the firm agreed to acquire Buy As You View, a retail and consumer finance business based in Wales, for £33.1m.

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