Sydney-based private equity firm Allegro and three former McDonald’s executives have acquired the Pizza Hut’s operation in Australia from US parent company Yum! Brands for undisclosed amount, according to Australian media’s reports.
The three former McDonald’s executives are Peter Rodwell, Lisa Ranson and Chris Leslie.
Allegro founding partner Chester Moynihan said the deal was “a unique opportunity to leverage a recognised brand within a growing market”.
“Our immediate focus will be strengthening the network of Pizza Hut stores across Australia through increased investment, resources and management focus,” Moynihan said on Tuesday.
Pizza Hut, which has 270 stores across the country, is the second biggest pizza retailer in Australia, following Domino Pizza.
However, the new owners have not aimed to become the market’s leader with the price competition. It would rather focus on delivering better value to customers. They also plan to set up company-owned stores in addition to franchise outlets, with the aim to have 10-20 per cent of all outlets company owned.
Pizza Hut has about 10 per cent of the $4 billion takeaway food market in Australia, research from market analyst IBISWorld says.
There has been speculation that Allegro is also interested in Eagle Boys, which was put up for sale after going into voluntary administration in July. However, Moynihan did not comment on this.
Last week, Yum! Brands had announced that Primavera Capital and Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, will buy a stake in Yum China for $460 million. Yum China will be spinoff and listed on the New York Stock Exchange Market on November 1.