(Reuters) - Bidders have submitted offers close to 850 million pounds ($1.5 billion) for Cinven's Pizza Express, lower than the initial 1 billion pounds the private equity player had expected for the company, the Telegraph reported on Thursday, citing sources.
Cinven, which bought Pizza Express franchise owner Gondola in a public to private transaction in 2007, could make around 1 billion pounds from the sale of Pizza Express, banking sources had told Reuters in June.
TDR Capital, a private equity firm that owned a stake in the pizza chain between 2003 and 2007, is mulling make a joint bid with China's Hony Capital for the company, the paper quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying. (bit.ly/TFuWGe)
The sources told the daily that the preferred bidder for Pizza Express was expected to enter into exclusive talks next week.
Cinven, Pizza Express and Hony Capital could not immediately be reached for a comment. TDR Capital declined to comment.
($1 = 0.5877 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Bernard Orr)