Private equity firm PAG in talks to buy Australian pizza chain

Australia’s third largest pizza chain, Crust Gourmet Pizza, may be bought out by Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG.

Talks are underway between the firm and the brand’s operator Retail Food Group for the franchise to be purchased via auction. Retail Food Group also operates Australia’s Brumby’s, Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie and Gloria Jean’s Coffee chains.

The news follows poor performance of the group’s chains during the past year and the resignation of its CEO Richard Hinson as part of a restructuring effort.

In an email to DealStreetAsia, Retail Food Group said “no formal binding agreement has been reached with any buyer at this stage in respect of any of Retail Food Group’s assets”.

“In so far as an amount for the sale of Crust Gourmet Pizza is speculated … that amount exceeds Retail Food Group’s expectations as to the sale price for that asset if it was to be sold as a part of that process”.

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