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400 jobs saved at troubled Four Star Pizza franchise

About 400 fast-food jobs have been saved after an investor took over the troubled Four Star Pizza franchise.

The take-away business was put into examinership last year with 37 outlets across the country at risk of closing.

Businessman Michael Holland bought up the chain through his investment engine Gonville after renegotiating leases for the stores.

The Four Star Pizza franchise had an annual turnover of €15m in 2009 but the company ran into difficulty last year over high rents.

A spokesman for the new investor claimed the deal went through after agreement on revised leases.

"A key element in Gonville's decision to purchase the franchise was the ability of the company to repudiate the leases of the franchisees through the court which were then renegotiated on better terms," a spokesman said.

Gonville said it will announce details on future plans and investment for the Four Star Pizza franchise if the High Court signs off on the deal on March 1.

Mr Holland also owns the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin.

PA Media