Rutland Partners gobbles up 330 Pizza Hut sites and will now lead restructuring programme

Restructuring investor Rutland Partners has purchased Pizza Hut's UK Dine-In restaurant business.

Rutland Partners is investing £20 million to support a £60 million refurbishment and restructuring programme of Pizza Hut’s Dine-In restaurants.

The transaction sees the firm acquire the 330 restaurant strong Pizza Hut business from Yum! Brands, a US-based restaurants group which currently counts KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell as brands.

Rutland Partner will operate them under a long term franchise agreement from Yum!, which will continue to act as franchiser and receive royalties from Rutland.

Yum! also plans to grow the Pizza Hut delivery business in the UK through franchise and equity new unit development.

Under the terms of the deal, the current management team of the Pizza Hut Dine-In business will remain with the company under the leadership of Jens Hofma.

That management team was originally put together to implement a turnaround of the restaurant division. Rutland and Yum! has decided that ‘considerable success’ has been achieved during the two year period, so will keep the same team.

Jens Hofma, managing director of the Pizza Hut Dine-In business, comments, ‘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 newly formed Yum! (III) UK, headed up by managing director Mark Fox, will now focus on generating ‘significant’ growth for the Pizza Hut Delivery business, according to a statement.

Rutland Partners managing partner Nick Morrill says the Pizza Hut business has had its ‘fair share’ of challenges over the past years but that the management team has put a clear turnaround plan in place.

He adds, ‘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.’

The deal for Rutland represents the second acquisition it has made in a month following its purchase of Buy As You View for £33.1 million.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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