ASK Italian and Zizzi in talks to be acquired by Bridgepoint

Two of the UK’s most well known casual dining chains, ASK Italian and Zizzi, are likely going to be acquired by the private equity firm, Bridgepoint.

Bridgepoint is in advanced talks to buy the two restaurant businesses, according to Sky News.

If the acquisition is successful it will be the end of Gondola Holdings, which used to own the Pizza Express and Byron burger chains.

According to sources, Bridgepoint has been given a period of exclusivity to finalise a deal and an announcement concerning the acquisition could be made as soon as next week.

Zizzi and ASK Italian were both founded by Adam and Sam Kaye. Their family has generated a significant fortune from the restaurant industry.

Zizzi outlet

A Zizzi outlet in Surrey, London.

Ten years ago they sold restaurant chains to Gondola in a deal valued at approximately the same amount as their current chains are likely worth.

ASK Italian has 110 locations and Zizzi has 130 outlets. The two businesses have performed remarkably well as the British economy recovered.

Earlier this year the British restaurant Pizza Express was sold to a Chinese investment firm, called Hony Capital, for £900m. And Tragus sold its Straga brand to Hugh Osmond in a move to focus on its other brands, namely Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia.

TPG Capital bought out Prezzo, run by Jonathan Kaye, for £300m.