California Pizza Kitchen, known for such ambitious offerings as the 1,440-calorie Tostada Pizza, will be acquired by Golden Gate Capital, an investment company that owns the Romano’s Macaroni Grill and On The Border chains. The deal is expected to be worth about $740 million.
CPK has been looking for a buyer for about a year. The company has been suffering from a slowdown in sales, despite adding less expensive, smaller portions of some products last year, along with an aggressive international expansion strategy that has taken it to India, South Korea and other countries. This isn’t the first time the company has been sold; the founders sold it to Pepsico in 1992, only to buy it back several years later.
“We have great respect for the California Pizza Kitchen brand,” said Josh Olshansky, a Managing Director with Golden Gate Capital. “The business that the CPK team has built, with its great product offerings, makes it an ideal fit with our long-term oriented approach to investing.”
No word yet on whether the new owners will continue to offer such menu items as the Tostada Pizza and the Pesto Creme Penne.