Chinese Firm Hony Capital acquired for £ 900 million
Pizza Express, UK has been acquired by Chinese investment firm Hony Capital for £ 900 million. The Pizza chain in India is also operational and after the deal the operation is going to shut down. In total, the brand owns 500 Pizza Express restaurants across the world.
The restaurant chain Pizza Express has been sold to a Chinese firm for around £900m, following "considerable interest" in the business. The UK Gondola Group confirmed the sale to private equity firm Hony Capital.
There are 436 Pizza Express restaurants in the UK along with 68 internationally - including 22 in China - employing more than 9,000 workers.
Chief executive Richard Hodgson said expansion in Asia was a "key part" of future growth strategy.
The sale was a "very positive development at an exciting time for the business", he said.
Pizza Express already has 12 restaurants in Hong Kong and nine in Shanghai, as well as outlets in India, Saudi Arabia and Bali.
The sale comes as The Gondola Group - which also owns UK pizza chains Zizzi and ASK Italian - opened the first Pizza Express restaurant in the Chinese capital Beijing earlier this year.
In a joint statement released by the two firms, Hony Capital said it planned to expand the brand both in the UK and in China.