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Chinese Firm Takes Over Pizza Express

Published on Jul 14 2014 7:32 AM in Restaurant

Chinese Firm Takes Over Pizza Express

A Chinese firm has purchased Pizza Express, the company which owns Milano, and plans to operate the UK restaurant chain in the world's most highly populated country.

Hony Capital was victorious in the auction process ahead of Citic, another Chinese investment group, and four other private-equity companies in what is the biggest European restaurant sector deal in the last five years.

Richard Hodgson, the Pizza Express chief executive, believes the deal is a very positive move for the 504-outlet chain. "Asia is a key part of our future growth strategy and Hony's expertise in this region will be invaluable," he said. "We are looking forward to working with them on this as well as our ambitious UK growth plans."

Hony Capital's CEO, John Zhao, said he was happy to acquire what he described as a well-established and vibrant brand. "With Pizza Express, we have the opportunity to leverage our local expertise to accelerate its growth in the Chinese market, as well as to continue to drive its business forward in the UK," explained Zhao.

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