Fat Face and PizzaExpress businesses mull sales

Sat, 03 May 2014 | BUSINESS SALE

Reports from The Guardian have indicated that the private equity owners of both Fat Face and PizzaExpress are exploring sales through auction.

Bridgepoint has taken a step forward and agreed to a stockmarket listing that values Fat Face at around £440 million. Meanwhile, PizzaExpress is looking at a much higher price with a price tag of £1 billion rumoured by its private equity owners Cinven.

Fat Face is reportedly in excellent financial health after a turnaround lead by Anthony Thompson in 2010 proved successful. The business is reportedly in a position to look at expansion overseas, with a website already planned for launch in the US within the next year.

Mr Thompson spoke to the Guardian about the current state of the business, which has changed notably from the younger sports crowd the firm originally attracted. He said: “A huge proportion of our customers are settled, cohabiting and have children… We sell clothes for the whole family.”

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is overseeing the auction of PizzaExpress. The chain of Italian restaurants, which was founded back in 1965, has changed hands numerous times over the years, but the latest purchase by Cinven went through for around £1 billion at the end of 2006. It is unclear what the sale price will be this time, but it could well be impacted by its substantial debt, which stands somewhere in the region of £1.2 billion.

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