Pizza chain Papa John’s China has sold the ownership of its 34 restaurants to a private equity firm.

The establishments are located in Beijing and Tianjin, acquired by Asia Gourmet Holdings Shanghai. The transaction was completed this month (June).

Papa John’s International president Tim O’Hern said: “Asia Gourmet Holdings (Shanghai) is an experienced and successful operator with significant interests in the restaurant industry in China.

“We will apply Asia Gourmet Holding’s knowledge of the region and success with our existing restaurant concepts.”

“The new franchisee shares our commitment to quality and will represent our Better Ingredients Better Pizza brand promise well moving forward in the region.”

The pizza chain also reported a 4.9% revenue decline last month to $427m in the first quarter ending 31 March.

Asia Gourmet Holdings chairman Nam Jeongil said: “We are excited to work together with Papa John’s and further build upon the tradition of quality ingredients and strong customer service they have created in China.

“There is a bounty of opportunities for Papa John’s in Beijing and Tianjin. We will apply Asia Gourmet Holding’s knowledge of the region and success with our existing restaurant concepts, such as Zheng Yi Wei, a leading chain of restaurants offering Korean cuisine, to the Papa John’s business.”

Papa John’s China offers a range of menu choices including multi grain thin crust pizza, signature, stuffed crust and hand tossed thin pizza, half & half, pasta and rice, along with beverages and dessert choices.