• PizzaExpress weighing special shareholder dividend, stock buyback

LONDON -- PizzaExpress, a 500-store U.K.-based chain is moving to improve shareholder returns in a year when sales declines have plagued the company.

According to The Business, rather than investing surplus capital into growing the group's restaurant numbers, the chain wants to stroke investors by distributing funds through a special dividend, or through a possible share buyback program.

Sources say the company is able to distribute at least £50 (U.S. $76 million) immediately, £16 million short of the £66 million (U.S. $100 million) cited in June reports.

No word on when the company will take such action.

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