Is Pizza Capers about to be gobbled up?
HAS the Gold Coast's embattled Retail Food Group already done the deal to offload its Pizza Capers network?
City Beat spies report that the pizza chain appears almost certain to be gobbled up by Allegro Funds Management, the same mob that bought out Pizza Hut two years ago.
Allegro, a Sydney-based private equity player specialising in turnarounds, also acquired about half the stores in the failed Eagle Boys group when it fell over with debts of $30 million in 2016.
You can expect the Pizza Capers brand to disappear and all the stores to start trading under the Pizza Hut banner if the sale gets over the line.
It emerged in the past few days that RFG has brought in outside consultants to find buyers for some of its flagship brands, including Pizza Capers, Crust Gourmet pizza and Donut King.
Allegro co-founder Chester Moynihan didn't return a call seeking comment yesterday. An RFG spin doctor also didn't get back to us.
RFG, which also includes Brumby's Bakeries, Gloria Jean's Coffees and Michel's Patisserie, remains the nation's biggest multibrand food franchisor.
But it has flagged a net loss of almost $88 million in the last financial year as tough retail conditions and store closures continue to take a toll.
Investors, worried about debt, losses and the alleged underpayment of staff, have sent RFG shares off a cliff. They have shed about 90 per cent of their value in the past year. Given the perfect storm facing it, RFG said last month that it would not proceed with a planned new global headquarters project on the Gold Coast.