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MOD Pizza secures £118m for expansion

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CDR) has acquired a significant stake in US-based MOD Pizza, an operator and franchisor of fast casual restaurants offering customisable, made-on-demand artisan-style pizzas and hand-tossed salads.

The $150m (£118.4m) investment will help accelerate the company's continued expansion in the rapidly growing fast casual restaurant market. Ken Giuriceo, CD&R Partner, and Paul Pressler, CD&R Partner and former CEO of Gap Inc. and senior Disney executive, will both join the MOD board of directors.

With 433 locations system-wide, MOD is a purpose-led, people-focused fast casual pizza business. It launched in the UK in 2016 and currently has 10 sites here.

The MOD menu offers individual artisan-style pizzas and hand-tossed salads using any combination of over 30 toppings - all for one incredible price. Pizza is the fastest growing sub-category within the fast casual restaurant market, and MOD is the #1 fast casual pizza concept in the US by unit count, with 100+ stores opened in each of the last three years.

With this additional capital, MOD plans to maintain its rapid growth across existing and new markets in the US and internationally. MOD expects to reach approximately 1,000 locations over the next five years, creating more than 14,000 new jobs.

In addition to continued growth, MOD plans to enhance the experience it provides customers through investments in off-premise and digital capabilities, while continuing to look for ways to use its business as a platform to make a positive social impact.

Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO, MOD Pizza said, 'Over the past 11 years, we have built MOD upon a conviction that we could build a best-in-class business by putting our people and the communities we serve first.

'This strategic partnership with CD&R is further validation of our belief that profit and positive social impact can co-exist. We are incredibly energized by the opportunity to work with CD&R to scale the MOD brand, while continuing to build our people-first, purpose-driven culture.'

Beginning with eight stores, MOD was founded in 2008 in Seattle by entrepreneurs already well known for building two successful restaurant businesses, Seattle Coffee Company and Carluccio's.