The sale of Pizza Hut UK has attracted interest from turnaround specialists, while speculation has increased that it may have to be put through a pre-pack administration. According to The Times the key issue for suitors for the company, which will not include the brand’s 320 home-delivery units, is how to extract the business from up to 100 loss-making restaurants. Early bidders, which was announced by Yum! Brands, its American owner, in October, are thought to include RCapital, the turnaround specialist which last week put its Little Chef chain through a pre-pack to offload 66 leases after talks with landlords became deadlocked. The group had intended to sell the delivery units with the restaurants as part of a move to “refranchise its Pizza Hut UK business”. It said that it was now “seeking a single buyer to purchase its company-owned restaurants and to serve as a master franchisee”. Some potential suitors suggested that a decision to split off the more successful delivery business from its dine-in outlets would make a sale difficult to achieve. One told the newspaper: “I’d be surprised if, after factoring in the ongoing franchise and marketing costs, the dine-in business makes any profit at all. This is a business that could fetch a token £1.” A source close to Pizza Hut confirmed that the consideration was only one factor in the sale process, and that the key was finding a buyer with “a clear strategy to exit the loss-making leases, invest in a modernisation programme and generate strong ongoing royalties”. One analyst said: “Splitting the brand is a bad idea. You could end up with two Pizza Hut business competing with each other.” However, a Pizza Hut spokesman said that “all sale options with prospective investors” were being discussed, implying that the delivery business could yet be included.