Bridgepoint Eyes ASK Italian and Zizzi in Deal Worth Over £225m
Bridgepoint eyes ASK Italian and Zizzi in deal worth over £225m.Zizzi

London-based private equity firm Bridgepoint is reportedly in advanced talks to buy UK casual dining chains ASK Italian and Zizzi in a deal worth more than £225m.

Bridgepoint, the private equity firm which owns fashion retailer Fat Face, had been given a period of exclusivity within which to finalise a deal, Sky News reported.

An announcement could be made next week.

Pursued by the agency, Bridgepoint refused to comment on the matter.

ASK Italian trades from 110 outlets while Zizzi operates from 135 sites, with both businesses performing strongly as the British economy has improved.

ASK and Zizzi were founded by Adam and Sam Kaye, whose family has accumulated a vast fortune from restaurants and other businesses.

It has been a busy year for M&A activity involving British restaurants. In October, Prezzo was acquired by TPG Capital in a £300m ($469m, €377m) deal. Prezzo operates almost 250 Italian restaurants across the UK.

In July, Pizza Express was sold to Chinese investment firm Hony Capital for £900m. Pizza Express operates over 400 restaurants in the UK alongside 68 internationally - including 22 in China - employing more than 9,000 workers.

Hony struck the deal after an auction process that included interest from rival Chinese investment firm Citic and private equity groups Carlyle, CVC, Advent and former owner TDR.