Pizza Hut UK’s dine-in restaurant business has been sold by its global owner, Yum! Brands, to investment firm, Rutland Partners.
Rutland Partners has acquired the share capital of Pizza Hut UK, the company which owns 330 dine in restaurants and will operate them under a franchise agreement from Yum!
Rutland will invest £20m in support of a wider £60m refurbishment and restructuring of the business.
Yum! will continue to act as franchisor for the dine in business, while also growing the Pizza Hut delivery business in the UK through franchise and new unit development.
The current management team of the Pizza Hut dine-In business, under the leadership of Jens Hofma, will remain with the business.
According to Yum! Brands, the team was assembled to implement a turnaround and has spent the last two years formulating and testing the strategy, which is reported to have has already seen considerable success.
The newly created Yum! (III) UK, headed up by managing director Mark Fox, will focus on generating significant growth for the Pizza Hut delivery business and on representing Yum’s interests as the owner and franchisor of the Pizza Hut brand. The two parties said they will collaborate closely to ensure the success of the Pizza Hut brand as a whole in the UK.
Nick Morrill, managing partner of Rutland, said: “We are excited about the iconic appeal of the Pizza Hut brand and its status as the leading casual dining brand in the UK.
“The business has had its fair share of challenges over the past few years but the management team has put a clear turnaround plan in place that has already led to much improved performance over the past 12 months.
“We have been very impressed by the energy and capability of the team at all levels of the business and we are excited by the prospect of working with the management to drive the turnaround to completion.”
Jens Hofma, managing director of the Pizza Hut dine In business, said: “I am truly delighted that we have secured new investment into the business.
“The 10,000 strong Pizza Hut Dine-In team is on a mission to put our guests at the centre of everything we do and to inject fun, energy and quality back into our restaurants.
“Throughout the sale process, Rutland Partners, above all others, has demonstrated a level of ambition and enthusiasm that matches our own drive for the transformation of our business. The entire team is relishing the opportunity to work with Rutland in the years ahead.”
Mark Fox, managing director for Yum! (III), said: “We are extremely pleased to have completed the sale of the dine in business to Rutland Partners.
“We have been impressed by their enthusiasm for the brand and their belief that they can work with the existing management to further refine and accelerate the turnaround which is already underway.
“The recent positive momentum within the business has given all parties renewed confidence that the strategy of putting the guest at the centre of everything we do is the right one.
“The new investment and expertise that Rutland bring to the brand will help the team to further enhance the guest experience and complete the turnaround story.”