ABN purchase of PizzaExpress approved by EU regulators

March 27, 2003

LONDON -- The purchase of PizzaExpress by a consortium led by Luke Johnson and backed by ABN Amro Holding received the approval of the European Union Commission Friday on March 21.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, though the investor group's £263 million (U.S. $412.2 million) bid for the 311-store chain was accepted by the company, the EU regulators' approval doesn't complete the deal.

Some PizzaExpress shareholders believe ABN's bid is below the chain's real value, and a recent higher bid from TDR Capital and Capricorn Ventures International, owner of Nando's Portugese chicken chain, remains under consideration. That group's bid is estimated in the range of £274 million (U.S. $429.5 million).

Topics: Public Companies

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