Pizza Express sold to Chinese private equity firm

Pizza Express has been bought by a Chinese private equity firm for around £900 million, the companies said.

A sign outside a Pizza Express restaurant in Britain. Credit: PA

Just two months after Pizza Express expanded its empire of 500 restaurants to include its first Beijing based pizzeria, Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital purchased the firm from private equity fund Cinven, which owns the company.

Pizza Express already runs 12 restaurants in Hong Kong and nine in Shanghai. It has 436 in Britain.

"This transaction is the largest in the European restaurant sector in the past five years," Gondola - the current owner of Pizza Express - and Hony said in a joint statement.

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