Om Pizza & Eats Pvt Ltd, the Indian master franchisee of global pizza chain Papa John’s, has acquired bigger local rival and the arguably the third-largest pizza chain in India Pizza Corner, for an undisclosed amount.
Terms of the transaction are not disclosed but it includes a stock deal which would give Global Franchise Architects (GFA), the current owner of Pizza Corner, a stake in Om Pizza.
Papa John’s will convert the existing Pizza Corner stores to Papa John’s branded restaurants through Q1 2015.
Papa John’s, the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company, currently has 15 operating restaurants across India through its master franchisee Om Pizza.
Pizza Corner has under 50 dine-in outlets, besides other store formats, as per its website.
Papa John's said the acquisition cum merger would lead to addition of at least 40 new stores and would make it a strong player especially in south India.
The market is currently dominated by Domino's followed by Pizza Hut.
“We are energised about this accelerated international expansion for Papa John’s in southern India. The merger provides us the opportunity to penetrate the market at a much more rapid pace, and increase our scale in a shorter period," said John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John’s.
Om Pizza, a firm backed by PE firm TVS Capital, is majority owned by Avan Projects, owned by the Mittal family (which sold Ispat to JSW a few years ago). Avan is led by Atulya Mittal and is focused on capitalising on the consumption-driven growth story in India.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Fred Mouawad, GFA is a Geneva-based group that builds, operates and franchises a select portfolio of specialty food service brands. Pizza Corner was its first brand in India launched way back in 1996 - and its other portfolio in the country consists of Donut Baker, Cream and Fudge and Coffee World. Currently GFA has 120 stores across its four brands in India, around half of the over 250 stores in six countries globally.
“This consolidation is a unique opportunity for Papa John’s to take a major pie in the market share in the Indian pizza segment. Through this merger with a leading brand such as Papa John’s, we have a phenomenal opportunity to meet growing demands by combining Papa John’s world class pedigree with Pizza Corner’s local expertise. We are confident that both the brands can complement each other and implement their expertise," said Joseph Cherian, CEO of GFA Global.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)