Pizza Hut UK’s bosses have completed a management buyout of the company, assisted by funding from Pricoa Capital Group.
The management team, led by CEO Jens Hofma – who took the 70th position in The Caterer‘s Top 100: most powerful people in hospitality, will take control of the business under a franchise agreement with brand owner Yum! Brands.
Hofma, who has run Pizza Hut’s 260-venue British arm since 2009, said: “As we take control of the next stage, our mission remains unchanged: to be the most loved place to eat and work.”
Reese Neumann, chief growth officer for Pizza Hut Europe said: “Pizza Hut Restaurants has shown tremendous growth over the past five years and this sale clearly demonstrates the commitment and desire their management team has to maintain that momentum for many years to come. This is an exciting time for the UK restaurant business and matches our plans to continue our expansion in Europe with our focus on improving
Yum! Restaurants sold Pizza Hut’s UK restaurants to private equity firm Rutland Partners in October 2012, reportedly for a token £1.
Hofma added: “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.
“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.”
In the financial year to 4 December 2016 Pizza Hut increased turnover to £232.7m, up from £225.3m in the year before, but still saw a 33.8% year-on-year decline in pre-tax profit to £5.2m, which it blamed on increased royalty and staff costs.