Zena tucks into TelePizza

Zena, a private equity-backed restaurant company based in Spain, has trumped buyout rival Permira’s €572m (US$686m) offer for TelePizza by about US$100m.

Zena, which is 75% owned by CVC Capital Partners and Spanish buyout firm Inveralia, had offered €2.40 per share through bid vehicle Food Service Group for at least 49% of TelePizza’s equity, which totals €639.2m (US$783m) including convertible bonds. Zena operates local franchises of Burger King and Pizza Hut. It claims to have support from 5.165% of TelePizza’s shareholders.

At the end of February, Permira had offered €2.15 per share, or €572m, through bid vehicles Foodco Pastries and Medimosal. Permira had received agreement from 20.5% TelePizza shareholder Carbal, an investment company controlled by the Ballvé family.

The battle has become a three-way fight with the strong expectation that Portuguese rival Ibersol Grupo has offered €2.25 per share. The Ibersol offer price is less than Zena’s €2.40 per share offer, although slightly more than the €2.15 announced by Carbal and buyout firm Permira.

Ibersol said it could raise its offer if Zena’s bid is approved by the regulators. Telepizza’s shares were up 2.4%, 6cents, at €2.53 each on April 24.

Ibersol was founded to manage the local Pizza Hut franchise, similar to Zena in Spain, and in 2003 also had 69 sites in Spain.

TelePizza has annual turnover of more than €730m from 1,223 restaurants.

ING Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland are providing debt for Permira, with Uría Menendez the financial adviser to Foodco Pastries and Medimosal. Baker & McKenzie is legal counsel to Carbal, Linklaters is working for Permira, and Allen & Overy is the lawyer for ING Bank and RBS.

360 Corporate and JPMorgan are advising Zena, with debt from Barclays, BNP Paribas and JPMorgan Chase and legal counsel from Garrigues.