Cinven-backed Pizza Express stokes private equity interest, could sell for £1bn


pizza expressCinven-backed UK restaurant chain Pizza Express is reportedly attracting interest from potential private equity buyers amid a lacklustre M&A environment so far this year.

Bankers are currently working on debt financing packages of up to £600m to back a purchase according to Reuters, which cited unnamed banking sources.

It added that two private equity firms and one trade buyer are expected to be in the final round of the auction process on June 26, which could see Pizza Express sell for up to £1bn.

Cinven bought Pizza Express owner Gondola in 2006 in a £1.335bn deal.

The company, which also owns restaurant chains Zizzi and Ask, recorded annual sales of £591.7m in its most recent annual report, an increase of 3.9 per cent, though EBITDA fell 5.6 per cent to £108.1m.

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