Billionaire Detroit family bring Little Caesars pizza chain to London

 (Little Ceasars)
(Little Ceasars)

A pizza chain belonging to the billionaire Ilitch family are taking their business to London with the opening of two new franchise stores.

Detroit-based Little Caesars, the third largest pizza chain in the world, will be unveiling sites in the capital as well as a store in Derby and one in Liverpool as it ramps up international expansion plans.

Paula Vissing, chief operating officer for Little Caesars Pizza, said: “The U.K. is an important new market for us given how influential it is.

“We expect to open several new sites in this market over the next few years, and we are excited to be entering with such strong franchisee groups in Derby, London, and Liverpool.”

The firm was founded in 1959 by husband and wife duo Marian and Michael Ilitch, using their combined $10,000 life savings to open their first store. The business has since grown to over 4,000 sites worldwide with turnover of around $4 billion, according to IBISWorld.

89-year-old Marian Ilitch has a net worth $4.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, while her stake in Little Caesars is worth $2.5 billion. Ilitch also owns a baseball team, the Detroit Tigers, and an ice hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings, thought to be worth a combined $2.3 billion.

The UK pizza industry is valued at more than £2.5 billion, Little Ceasars said.

Included in Little Caesar’s London menu are the firm’s signature “Hot N Ready” large pizzas, including with Pepperoni and Margherita toppings. Other offerings include the Mushroom Deluxe, the Three Meat Treat, Italian Sausage and Bacon, as well as “Veggie Crazy Puffs” and “Crazy Bread.”