Bengaluru: Papa John’s India Inc. said it would merge with the Pizza Corner brand, owned by Global Franchise Architects Co. Ltd (GFA), to become the third-largest pizza chain in India.
The existing 70 outlets of Pizza Corner will be rebranded to Papa John’s before the end of the year ending March. Papa John’s, run by Atulya Mittal’s Om Pizza and Eats in India, will have 90 stores in India by then.
Joseph Cherian, chief executive officer of GFA, will now run Papa John’s and continue to be a board member at GFA.
Financial details of the deal, which was reported by the Times of India newspaper on Tuesday, weren’t disclosed.
GFA, which owns other brands—The Donut Baker, Coffee World and The Cream and Fudge Factory—had been struggling to raise money from private equity firms because of differences over valuation. Its promoters were forced to pump in money into the company over the past year to fund expansion in the absence of new investors. While Papa John’s, with just 20 stores, was a marginal player in the market dominated by Domino’s and Pizza Hut. According to GFA, the pizza market is worth Rs.2,300 crore in India.
Though the food service industry in India has seen a slowdown in growth over the past 18 months or so as shoppers, hit by high inflation, spent less money on eating out and ordering food, executives are hopeful growth will pick up.
“This consolidation is a unique opportunity for Papa John’s to take a major pie in the market share in the Indian pizza segment. Owing to a majority of younger population under 30 with a liking for international food gives us the right opportunity to address the need gap for true international brands,” Cherian said in a statement.