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PizzaExpress trumps Restaurant Group with £225m offer for Ask

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PizzaExpress trumps Restaurant Group with £225m offer for Ask
Written by:

The owners of PizzaExpress have tabled a £225m bid for rival pizza and pasta group Ask Central.

The board of Ask Central has recommended the 220p-a-share bid to shareholders.

The bid has been made by venture capital group TDR and Capricorn Ventures, which owns the Nando’s chicken chain, through a specially formed company called Riposte.

Their offer trumps by some 20% a previous recommended cash-and-shares offer from The Restaurant Group, formerly City Centre Restaurants, worth about 182p a share.

The directors of Ask, and other members of the Kaye family, have agreed to sell their shares to Riposte, representing just more than 17% of the existing share capital.

Manjit Dale, founding partner at TDR, said: “Adam and Samuel Kaye and their team have built a great business with excellent prospects. We intend to build on their success by developing the leading full-service restaurant chain in the UK.”

TDR and Capricorn bought PizzaExpress for £277.8m in July 2003.

A merger with Ask would create a group with some 475 restaurants in the UK.

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