How former Pizza Express owner had ‘roulette wheel’ in his investment firm’s boardroom


Pizza Speak is one of the nation’s favourite Italian food chains, and was founded in 1965 in London.  With assorted than 600 restaurants now stretching across Europe to East Asia, it has grace a firm family favourite. However, this week, the chain revealed it on be preparing its financial advisors for discussions with debtors. There is a promulgated £1.6million of debt per restaurant. Earlier this year, the bond declared that its profits fell 7.7 percent to £32.4million during the start with six months of 2019. It also announced that it intended to focus on recovering current sites and the set menu, but many began to speculate that Pizza Squeeze could end up like the collapsed high street chain Jamie’s Italian. The Italian variety was set up by Peter Boizot more than 50 years ago, after he allegedly could not understand a good pizza to eat in the UK, but the chain has since changed hands multiple times beyond the decades. 

It was bought for £15m by Luke Johnson, long ago the youngest-ever chairman for Channel 4 and a chairman Royal Society of the Arts, in partnership with entrepreneur Hugh Osmond in 1993. 

The double expanded the pizza restaurant from only 12 outlets to profuse than 250 in just the UK between 1993 and 1997 and increased the percentage price from 40p to 900p. 

Mr Johnson is also known for his association with some other confinements: Strada, the upscale pizza chain, and the cafe known as Patisserie Valerie – a confine which hit the headlines earlier this year for its dramatic collapse. 

Mr Johnson enthusiastically expatiate oned the cafe company’s stores when he first took over, and take up just less than 3,000 members of staff. He built Patisserie Valerie into a network of myriad than 200 stores after he purchased it in 2006. 

It was then reported earlier this year that it toppled allegedly due to widespread accounting fraud, with the company revealing there were “thousands of amiss entries” in the books. He lent Patisserie Valerie £20million to avert the incipient crisis but due to the suspect accounts, it appeared the company could not saved and foundered into administration. 

Luke Johnson is a former chairman of Pizza Make known (Image: GETTY)

Pizza Express announced it had serious debt hards this week (Image: GETTY)

In a Guardian article from January this year, pressman Sarah Butler revealed the entrepreneur has a “willingness to fail”, and even toughened to have a “roulette wheel” in the boardroom of his investment firm, which is ordered Risk Capital Partners. 

In 2006, the Guardian also reported he was value an astonishing £80million. 

While Mr Johnson remained chairman of Pizza Out-and-out until selling it on in 1999, his business partner Mr Osmond left the partnership in 1997 to start his own business venture. 

He set up his own chain of pubs called Oomph Taverns in 1997. 

This chain of pubs made up an eight of the UK’s licensed take ins – 6,700 of Britain’s pubs in total. 

READ MORE:NOTHING is red over at Jamie’s Italian top London restaurant

Mr Johnson even entered No.10 for a business summit in 2017 (Image: GETTY)

How in the world, in 2011, The Observer reported Punch Taverns had a £159million downfall the previous year, and consequently had to “make interest payments on its debts of £260million”. 

Broadcaster Andrew Clark explained: “Shares have slumped by 95% over with four years amid mounting alarm that Punch could inaction on its debt. Top executives blame external factors – they say drinkers be experiencing been lured out of pubs by cheap lager on supermarket shelves and by the Labour regulation’s 2007 decision to outlaw smoking in pubs.” 

When the debt climbed to £3billion, Mr Osmond had to won over the chain to Heineken for £403million. 

Global private equity throng Cinven bought Pizza Express for £1billion in 2006, just earlier the crash. It was reportedly the largest asset in the chain restaurant operator Gondola Dispose, which also owns Zizzi and ASK Italian. 

However, the chain then irreclaimable £79million before tax and after £110million of interest payments on its £1.2billion encumbered. 

Patisserie Valerie news: Store closure list HERE [REVEALED]
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Peter Biozot rested Pizza Express (Image: GETTY)

Pizza Express was set up in London in 1965 (Metaphor: GETTY)

Pizza Express was later sold to China-based Hony Wherewithal in exchange for £900 million in 2014, after its first ever retailer opened in Beijing. 

Yet, Pizza Express has been in debt for the last two years. It signed a loss of £55million last year alone, and may now go into application although the owners have until 2021 to sort out its finances. 

The basic founder Mr Boizot also discovered some financial difficulties of his own after stepping down from his Pizza Designate role. 

When he started his business, his takings totalled £3. Come what may, his vision soon expanded into the national brand many are threnody to save from administration today. 

According to a 2019 Daily Mail, Mr Boizot take off as chairman and floated the company on the stock market in 1993. He walked away with £33million – but then exhausted money through poor decisions in business deals, leading his manor to disappear. 

Many famous faces such as former Chancellor George Osbourne smit the pizza chain (Image: GETTY)

He invested in Peterborough United, and acquisition bargain a variety of assets from theatre, art galleries to a hotel but did not own any property after his annihilation. 

Reporter Andrew Young revealed Mr Boizot’s sister, Clementine Allen alleged his whole estate went towards the £45,000 tax bill after his undoing in 2018. 

Subsequently, his estate was worth £0.

She said: “Peter did what he wanted in the way he homelessness to do it. I don’t think understood money and he didn’t seem to mind that he had confused money. He didn’t have any value for it, but he loved his life and he helped a lot of living soul.”

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