Cinven completes exit from Gondola Group with sale of ASK and Zizzi to Bridgepoint

ASK restaurant

Cinven, the private equity owner of Gondola Group’s ASK Italian and Zizzi restaurants, will sell the chains to Bridgepoint in a deal valued at £250 million, Michael O’Shea reports.

The deal marks the final disposal of Gondola Group’s assets, which have netted Cinven a total of £1.3 billion including the sale of Byron Burger to Hutton Collins Partners for £100 million in 2013 and Pizza Express to Hony Capital for £900 million in 2014.

The investor states that it has generated a return of 2.4x from its original investment in Gondola Group in 2007.

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“We are very proud to have worked with the high calibre management team at Gondola to deliver the growth strategy and accelerate the roll-out of the Group’s different restaurant brands, not only in the UK but also internationally,” said Peter Catterall, partner at Cinven.

“In particular, our Asia portfolio team has been instrumental in facilitating the acceleration of the Pizza Express Asia opportunity, which was unquestionably a key factor in agreeing the sale of Pizza Express to Hony Capital earlier this year,” continued Catterall.

Charles Miller-Jones, principal at Cinven, added: “We have worked exceptionally hard with the Gondola management team to maintain UK growth momentum through what has been a challenging consumer environment; create Byron, the market leading burger concept; and transform Pizza Express from a UK business into a truly international growth story. We are pleased that all of the Gondola brands can continue to prosper under new ownership.”

In the UK, Zizzi and ASK operate 136 and 109 restaurants respectively.

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