BRISBANE, Australia—Domino's Pizza Australia New Zealand (DPANZ) announced it will purchase existing Domino's Pizza operations in France, Belgium and the Netherlands from Domino's Pizza Inc.

According to a news release, the deal includes an €8.9 million (U.S. $11.2 million) purchase price and a €10 million (U.S. $12.6 million) minimum investment in expansion. The sale will be finalized in July and be fully funded by debt.

DPANZ believes it can grow the European operation from its current 153 stores (including six company-owned stores and 147 franchise stores) to potentially 1,000 stores. The group includes 90 stores in France, 60 in the Netherlands and three in Belgium.

"We plan on achieving profitable growth in the European market by opening stores, growing same-store sales and improving margins through operational efficiencies and better buying power," said DPANZ chief executive Don Meij.

DPANZ currently operates 422 units in Australia and New Zealand.

Though Meij will remain in Australia as DPANZ's CEO, he will head up the European restaurant group as its CEO/managing director. The new European businesses will be led by four members of the DPANZ system, who are relocating to Europe. They are:

Grant Bourke, former DPANZ franchisee and non-executive board member, who will oversee the new European business;

Andrew Rennie, former DPANZ national operations manager (corporate), who will become president over operations in France;

Andrew Megson, former DPANZ national operations manager (franchise), who will become president of operations in the Netherlands; and

David Burness, a former DPANZ franchisee, who will become chief operating officer in the Netherlands.

"The Australian leaders will work with some of Europe's key senior managers who have agreed to continue their employment, providing the local cultural knowledge and expertise needed to grow the business," Meij said. "This mix of local and tested corporate level talent is expected to provide a winning combination for our European expansion."

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