Smith Cooper’s Corporate Finance division are delighted to announce two May deals, which completed within a week.

The first deal saw London-based independent pizza delivery business, KMP Taste Limited, one of the UK’s largest Pizza Hut franchises, sold to private investors in a deal project managed by Smith Cooper. Smith Cooper provided full deal management services, including buyer identification.

The sellers were three brothers from the London-based Patel family, private shareholders with a variety of business interests. The buyer was Zaf Holdings Limited, a newco set up by Arif Jivraj, a private investor with wide-ranging expertise in franchised food retail.

Of the transaction, Corporate Finance Partner John Farnsworth commented: “This transaction, involving nearly 30 stores and over 500 employees, breaks size records for a UK Pizza Hut deal, certainly in recent history. We are privileged to have worked with the Seller for some years before the sale process began, during which time they built a large, market-leading and profitable business.”

David Crump, Senior Corporate Finance Manager, added: “We are delighted to have placed the business with a leading retail franchise expert, Arif Jivraj, whom we have known for some years, and who owns Zaf Holdings; he has ambitious plans and is certainly capable of accelerating the growth of the Pizza Hut brand in the UK.”

Viresh Patel, the brother leading the deal for the sellers, described Smith Cooper’s “hard work, professional approach and candid advice” as being key to getting a deal done and “invaluable.”

The second deal was the sale of South-East based Costa Coffee franchise operator, Cats Eye Trading, which was sold to an experienced franchise entrepreneur in a deal initiated and project managed by Smith Cooper.

Cats Eye Trading Limited, operates a cluster of Costa Coffee franchise stores in high street locations in Surrey. The seller was private shareholder, Ian King, whilst the buyer was Kashgroup Trading Limited, owned by experienced entrepreneur Kash Jaffar, an operator of Budgens and Pizza Hut Delivery franchises.

Of this transaction, John Farnsworth commented: “We are delighted to have secured a successful exit for Ian King who has had 12 years in the Costa system. In this time, Cats Eye built an excellent reputation for high operating standards and customer care. The acquisition forms a strong platform for expansion for the Kashgroup Trading, which is a new entrant to the Costa brand.”

Ian King praised Smith Cooper’s service, commenting on “the excellent support, expert advice, determination and perseverance of Smith Cooper’s team” in delivering his exit.