Funds manager Allegro to take control of Pizza Hut

Pizza

Australian fund manager Allegro has entered into a master franchise agreement for the operation of Australian Pizza Hut stores as part of a deal with US parent company Yum! Brands.

In an announcement this afternoon Pizza Hut Australia confirmed negotiations with Allegro had been completed and that Allegro had acquired a master franchise licence that will see it lead Pizza Hut businesses under a management team of three “quick service restaurant” (QSR) specialists.

In August Fairfax Media reported Allegro Funds, which invests in mid-market businesses in Australia and New Zealand including Carpet Court and Great Southern Rail, was considering entry into the fast food market through embattled pizza operation Eagle Boys. Allegro was reportedly interested in a potential merging of the Eagle Boys and Pizza Hut businesses.

Outgoing Pizza Hut Australia general manager Graham Houston said in a statement the deal will “accelerate growth and deliver Pizza Hut to more consumers”.

The new master franchise team will be responsible for focusing on “further embracing digital innovations and trends”, a key area of competition in the face of rival Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, which established a position as market leaders in the integration of technology in the fast food space.

Allegro founding partner Chester Moynihan said in the same statement the transaction was a good opportunity to leverage Pizza Hut and grow its market share.

“We see this is an exciting outcome for our investors as well as a growth opportunity for Pizza Hut franchisees and employees,” he said.

Allegro has appointed former Asia Pacific division president of McDonald’s, Peter Rodwell, to an executive chairman position to lead a team of managers with experience in the fast food industry.

The deal will come into effect today and management want to meet with existing Pizza Hut franchisees “as soon as possible”.

SmartCompany contacted Yum! Brands for clarification on the number of stores Allegro will control but did not receive a response prior to publication.

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