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Cinven makes official bid to take over PizzaExpress owner

06 October 2006 by

Private equity group Cinven has made an official cash bid for PizzaExpress owner Gondola Holdings, valuing the company at £559m.

It means the restaurant chain operator, which also owns the Ask Central and Zizzi brands, will return to private hands less than a year after floating on the Alternative Investment Market.

Cinven said that, as a result of the offer, the proposed dividend of 4.7p per Gondola share announced on 21 September would not be paid.

Taken together with Gondola's debt position as at 2 July, the company has an enterprise value of £900m.

David Ross, chairman of Gondola, said: "After careful consideration and deliberation, the independent directors are unanimous in their recommendation that the shareholders should vote in favour of the acquisition."

The 415p per share offer represents a premium of 29.7% on the price of 320p per share when Gondola came to the market last November.

It also represents a 14.6% premium on the closing price of 362p on 5 September when talks first began.

Gondola Holdings enjoys strong growth in first year back on stock market>>

Gondola set to return to private hands under Cinven>>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce](mailto:chris.druce@rbi.co.uk?subject=Cinven makes official bid to take over PizzaExpress owner) here.

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