Which private equity fund manager has acquired Pizza Hut?

Sarah Stowe

A private-equity fund manager, together with a local management buy-in, has acquired the master franchisee licence for Pizza Hut in Australia from US-based parent company Yum! Brands. Allegro Funds has purchased Pizza Hut with a local management buy-in. Image: www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

Allegro, an Australian investment fund manager, will take on the licence for Pizza Hut Australia. Backed by institutional investors, including Australian superannuation funds, Allegro invests in private mid-market businesses within Australia and New Zealand, with more than $650 million of funds under management, including franchised retail chain Carpet Court.

The news comes after speculation that Allegro Funds was considering the purchase of Eagle Boys which went into voluntary administration two months ago.

“Pizza Hut has been a household name in Australia since the early 1970s. It was one of the first pizza companies to home deliver in Australia and we want to revive this innovative legacy to enhance the experience for customers,” said Chester Moynihan, founding partner.

“This is a unique opportunity to leverage a recognised brand within a growing market segment. We see this is an exciting outcome for our investors as well as a growth opportunity for Pizza Hut franchisees and employees.

“Our immediate focus will be strengthening the network of Pizza Hut stores across Australia through increased investment, resources and management focus,” he added.

Allegro plans to combine growth capital with management expertise to grow the Pizza Hut brand in Australia. Experienced executives Peter Rodwell, Lisa Ransom and Chris Leslie make up the management buy-in team and will take leadership roles in the business.

Current Pizza Hut chief executive officer Lisa Ransom will remain in the role, and McDonald’s veterans Peter Rodwell and Chris Leslie will be executive chairman and chief operating officer respectively.