• City Centre sells 49 Deep Pan Pizza Sites

LONDON -- City Centre Restaurants (CCR), announced yesterday that it is selling its troubled Deep Pan Pizza brand to a management buyout team in a £4 million ($5.7 million U.S.) deal.

The Deep Pan deal, which involves an initial payment of £1 million ($1.4 million U.S.) and the balance of £3 million ($4.3 million U.S.) spread over two years, comes more than three years after City Centre first put the loss-making 54-strong business up for sale. The deal involves 49 of the restaurants.

Two previous deals over Deep Pan have fallen apart at the eleventh hour, including an £11.75 million ($16.75 million U.S.) sale to Queensborough Holdings.

Since then CCR has been hit a by series of profit warnings, parted company with much of its former management and written down the value of Deep Pan to just £3.3 million ($4.7 million U.S.). The Deep Pan team is led by its operations director, Bill McTaggart, and backed by Lloyds TSB. CCR is retaining a 19.9 percent stake.

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