Chicago

Lou Malnati’s sale: Private firm buys part ownership of Chicago pizza chain

CHICAGO (WLS) — Rumors that Chicago’s famous Lou Malnati’s Pizza chain was sold to the Meritage Group private investment firm are being denounced by the Malnati family.

A report from Bloomberg News surfaced Friday morning, claiming the iconic pizzerias were sold to the private investment firm Meritage Group, but the family has since clarified what exactly was sold.

Marc and Rick Malnati told ABC7 Friday that they still retain ownership of the business known for its deep dish pizzas.

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“Nothing is going to change, its business as usual. My brother Rick and I are still the largest individual shareholders in the company,” Marc said in a statement.

What has changed is the partial ownership that BDT Capital acquired a few years ago when the family-run business wanted to expand, according to the Malnatis.

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BDT Capital, a Chicago-based firm, sold their interests to the Meritage Group, the family said.

Marc reassured that there are no personnel changes, no staffing changes and no changes with their famous pizza.

The company has also been looking into moving their headquarters from Northbrook to Buffalo Grove for years as their shipping business “The Taste of Chicago” expands, the Malnatis said. They said the move would allow them to expand from 35,000 to 110,000 square feet, with a USDA kitchen and many other opportunities.

The Malnati family opened its first restaurant in Lincolnwood 50 years ago. There are now more than 70 locations, mostly in the Chicago area, with restaurants also in Indiana, Wisconsin and Arizona.

RELATED: Lou Malnati’s Heart-Shaped Pizza for Valentine’s Day

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