Pizza Hut Australia has been taken over by private equity group Allegro

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Allegro, a private equity fund manager, and a local management team of fast food experts has done a deal to take over running Pizza Hut in Australia.

The US-based Yum! Brands, the owner of Pizza Hut, says it has completed negotiations with Allegro on a master franchising arrangement for the 250 fast food outlets in Australia.

A price for the transaction hasn’t been announced. Pizza Hut has about 10% of the $4 billion takeaway food market in Australia, according to industry analysts IBISWorld.

“This is an exciting step change in how Pizza Hut operates in this market which will accelerate growth and deliver Pizza Hut to more consumers across Australia,” says outgoing Pizza Hut Australia General Manager Graeme Houston.

He will be leaving to pursue a personal charitable passion after transitioning the business.

The master franchisee business will now be led by a hands-on management buy-in team of three Australian fast food restaurant specialists.

They are former McDonald’s executives Peter Rodwell, Lisa Ransom and Chris Leslie. Rodwell will be executive chairman, Ransom CEO and Leslie chief operating officer.

Allegro founding partner Chester Moynihan says the immediate focus will be strengthening the network of Pizza Hut stores through increased investment, resources and management focus.

“This is a unique opportunity to leverage a recognised brand within a growing market segment,” he says.

“We see this is an exciting outcome for our investors as well as a growth opportunity for Pizza Hut franchisees and employees.”

Allegro invests in private mid-market businesses within Australia and New Zealand, with more than $650 million of funds under management.

Yum! retains a chain of KFC outlets in Australia.