Hony has about US$10 billion under management. Coronavirus: Pizza Express slimming plans that put 1,100 jobs at risk are approved. It is currently majority owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital. Pizza Express opened its first restaurant in Beijing in May Credit: Photo: ALAMY Chinese investment group Hony Capital has agreed to buy restaurant chain Pizza Express for around £900m. By Mike Didymus-August 4, 2020. Hony Capital buys PizzaExpress for about £900 million ($1,540 million). PizzaExpress is a restaurant group based in the United Kingdom and owned by a group of bondholders. It has been helpful in expanding the Pizza Express brand in that important market, although the Far East operations first began in 2001 in Hong Kong. Its 2019 accounts revealed that, even before the novel coronavirus hit U.K. restaurants, it was already making an annual loss of £350 million. PizzaExpress, a UK-based restaurant chain backed by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, is permanently closing 73 of its 470 restaurants as part of a rescue deal awaiting approval from creditors, according to reports.PizzaExpress is one of several chains hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown. Holders of the existing £200m senior unsecured notes (including Hony Capital) and Hony Capital, in its capacity as existing shareholder, were given a minor shareholding in the restructured Group. Pizza Express is the largest casual dining restaurant operator in the UK, and this is the largest deal in the European restaurant sector in the past five years. The only way out was for Hony to exit, and for Pizza Express to close a lot of restaurants and cut a debt-for-equity deal with shareholders on the risky promise that it would lead to a brighter future. Each Pizza Express shop is individually designed depending on the local tastes of the area. Pizza Express also confirmed it had hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business. Pizza Express is only one of a string of headache investments for Hony, a $10bn private equity firm that also poured $500m into struggling co-working landlord WeWork in 2017. Hony Capital, the China-based buyout fund with $7bn assets under management, will work together with the Pizza Express management team to accelerate its expansion in China and continue to grow the UK business. The business is also in a strengthened position since Autumn 2020, which saw a major restructuring of the pizza chain’s capital. Hony Capital acquired the largest private hospital in Shanghai, Yangsi Hospital, through its hospital management group. Pizza Express, which is majority owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital, said it had also placed the business up for sale. Hony Capital is a Chinese private equity firm, owned by Legend Holdings.Legend Holdings provided Hony, a pioneer in China's private equity industry, with its start-up capital. Hony Capital, the private equity group that bought PizzaExpress in 2014, has secured a controlling majority of its unsecured bonds, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. Expansion of the British restaurant chain into the Asia market is seen as key for its growth MailOnline contacted both Pizza Express and Hony Capital, neither of which could be reached this afternoon. Cinven borrowed money to buy Pizza Express, saddling the company with the debt. Hony Capital bought the business from Gondola Group for around £900 million in 2014. Hony picked up Pizza Express in a £900m buyout from fellow PE house Cinven six years ago, but the business had already seen its debt surge to a reported £1.1bn by the end of 2018. Suite 06-11, 70/F Two International Finance Centre, No.8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel:+852 3961 9700 Fax:+852 3961 9799 Latest News; ... Hony Capital burned by Pizza Express as bondholders agree deal for struggling restaurant chain. In Hong Kong, Pizza Express has 23 restaurants. It was founded in 1965 by Peter Boizot. It has over 470 restaurants across the United Kingdom and 100 overseas in Europe, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, The Philippines, The United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. China’s Hony Capital raises $130m for first venture fund The firm rose to international prominence in 2014 for its acquisition of London-based restaurant chain Pizza Express, which was taken over by its bondholders earlier this year Sign in. The restructuring plan will enable Hony Capital to complete the carve-out purchase of the China business of PizzaExpress Group, which it will continue to own and operate going forward. The company has said it will look for redeployment opportunities for those affected by the closures. Struggling private equity-backed restaurant group Pizza Express is set to be largely taken over by bondholders as the business reels under the strain of the coronavirus lockdown. 985. Hony Capital is a pioneering buyout fund in China and has strong expertise incross-border investments. Hony Capital, one of China’s largest private equity firms, has acquired PizzaExpress, in a deal that values the Cinven-backed chain at £900m - the largest transaction in … MailOnline contacted both Pizza Express and Hony Capital, neither of which could be reached this afternoon. The sale of Pizza Express China Ltd., Pizza Express PRD Ltd. and Pizza Express Beijing Ltd. and their respective subsidiaries to an SPV incorporated by Hony Capital. Pizza Express went through a restructuring in the summer to cut its rental costs, ... is majority-owned by Chinese investor Hony Capital, which bought it for £900m in 2014. Pizza Express sold to Chinese private equity group Hony Capital for £900m. Pizza Express operates 436 restaurants in the UK along with 68 internationally, including 22 in China. Hony’s origins began in 2003 and it has particular expertise with state owned enterprises. PizzaExpress’s unsecured creditors -- which include Beach Point Capital Management -- will have one month to review Hony’s offer to buy back the bonds at discount. Some of these cookies tell us how you use this site to help you get the most out of it – if you’re happy with that, click Accept For information on the cookies used, click on More about cookies Private equity house Hony Capital is at risk of losing its entire investment in UK pizza restaurant chain Pizza Express as the business reels under the strain of the coronavirus lockdown. Pizza Express’ struggles with debt have made the headlines several times in the past few months – it has £465m of secured bonds due in August 2021 and £200m of unsecured notes due the following year. The group is owned by Hony Capital, a Chinese company that bought Pizza Express in 2014 in a £900m deal with hopes of expanding the chain in China. All of the group’s current equityholders have been offered the opportunity to co-invest in the divested China group, and all SUN holders will also have the option to do so at the closing of the restructuring transaction. PizzaExpress celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. The Guardian reports that the chain’s Chinese owner, Hony Capital, could lose control of the company as part of a debt-for-equity swap. Hony Capital, founded in 2003, is sponsored by the Lenovo Group as well as Chinese and global institutional investors. China’s Hony Capital is set to pump more money into PizzaExpress, cutting the 54-year-old restaurant chain’s debts and increasing its chances of retaining control in any restructuring. Pizza Express, which is majority owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital, also confirmed it had hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business. Beyond pizza, there are cookies – we use the non-edible kind on this site. Leveraging its domestic and international expertise, Hony Capital will work together with the PizzaExpress management team to drive continued growth both in the UK and internationally, with a particular focus on expansion in China. 2013 Hony capital invested in Shanghai Chengtou Holdings (600649.SH), which was a ‘wind indicator’ for new era of SOE reform in Shanghai. The company has $7bn under management, with the latest fund having a capital commitment of $2.4bn. About half of the interest payments are made to its Chinese parent company, Hony Capital. 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