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Taylor Wessing advises Rutland on acquisition of Pizza Hut UK

Law firm Taylor Wessing has advised Rutland Partners on the acquisition of Pizza Hut's UK dine-in restaurant business from Yum! Brands, the global owners of the Pizza Hut brand.

In the deal, Rutland acquired the share capital of Pizza Hut UK, the company which owns 330 dine in restaurants and will operate them under a franchise agreement from Yum!

Rutland will invest GBP20m in support of a broad GBP60m refurbishment and restructuring programme of the business.

Yum! will continue to act as franchisor for the dine in business whilst also growing the Pizza Hut delivery business in the UK.

Nick Morrill, managing partner of Rutland, says: “We are excited about the iconic appeal of the Pizza Hut brand and its status as the leading casual dining brand in the UK. The business has had its fair share of challenges over the past few years but the management team has put a clear turnaround plan in place that has already led to much improved performance over the past 12 months. 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.”

Nick Hazell, head of Taylor Wessing's UK private equity group, says: "This was a unique deal, successfully combining the concepts of private equity ownership within a franchise operation aimed at completing the turnaround story.  The new investment and expertise that Rutland bring to the brand, combined with the drive, commitment and ambition of the existing management team mean that it's a very exciting time for all concerned. We wish them every success."

Linklaters acted for Yum! brands and Olswang acted for Management.

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