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Pie Face linked to casino billionaire as US expansion continues

Fast-growing food franchisor Pie Face might be about to have its biggest win – make that a Wynn, to be precise.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, Pie Face is in talks with US casino magnate Steve Wynn about a potential investment to help accelerate the chain's US expansion.

Wynn, who was valued at $2.5 billion in March by Forbes magazine, is known as the man who put the sparkle back in the Las Vegas strip in the 1990s by building and refurbishing a string of casinos in the gambling mecca.

The AFR suggests Pie Face chief Wayne Homschek is talking about a $15 million equity investment from Wynn, who would also provide invaluable connections as Pie Face looks for good properties for its store rollout.

SmartCompany contacted Homschek this morning but he is currently overseas and was not immediately available to comment.

Pie Face entered the US market with a bang in January, when it opened its first store in New York near the studio where David Letterman's talk show is filmed.

In March, the Pie Face store featured in a segment on Letterman's show.

Homschek said at the time he was thrilled with the response to the US store, saying it was performing better than Pie Face's 70 Australian stores.

There were plans for 10 more outlets in New York by the end of 2012. The company's total revenue is expected to hit $55 million in 2012-13, with a target of 140 stores.

Homschek has made no secret of the fact an ASX listing is on the cards for the company, which has already secured some big name investors.

In October 2010, Australian Rich List stalwart Brett Blundy – who was valued at $835 million by BRW a few weeks ago – invested $2.6 million for a 15% stake.

Other investors include Angus Geddes, the founder of financial services firm Fat Prophets, and well-known businessman and Rothschild Australia chairman, Trevor Rowe.

 

Engel Schmidl

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