Australian fast food business Domino’s has strengthened its beachhead in Europe by buying Pizza Sprint, a chain in Western France with 89 stores, for 31.5 million euros ($50 million).
The deal gives Domino’s a total of 330 stores in France and 1500 across Europe.
“Food is life for the French and they eat four to six times more pizza than Australians,” CEO Don Meij told Business Insider. “France is one of the biggest pizza eating countries in the world.”
The French, who also are more likely to order a pizza on their smartphones than Australians, tend to like their pizzas with creme fresh rather than a tomato paste base.
A four cheese pizza is a local favourite. “They like their cheese and they like their protein,” Meij says.
The Pizza Sprint gives Domino’s a jump in its expansion plans into Europe where it is now operating in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
“We continuously look for opportunities to grow, both within our existing business and through further acquisitions,” says Meij.
The purchase, from owner Franck Guegan and Food Court Finance, is expected to close in January.
The Pizza Sprint business delivered network sales of Euros 30.4 million ($AU48 million) and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of Euros 3.5 million in the financial year to March.
The fast food business is on a growth spurt, using digital innovation and rapidly adding new stores. In August it smashed expectations when it announced a 51% increase in full year profit to $64.048 million.
Domino’s shares opened 5% higher at $41.79.