A management team, backed by Lloyds TSB bank, bought 49 of the 54 outlets of the loss-making Deep Pan Pizza chain yesterday from British parent City Centre Restaurants.

The restaurant chain was opened in the mid-1980s, and by the end of last year it recorded a net asset value of £3.3m (US$4.79m) and losses totalling £300,000.

City Centre first revealed its intentions to ditch the brand more than three ago, and the £4m deal is the first to be completed under the firm's new CEO Alan Jackson. The parent company is to retain one seat on the Deep Pan board and a 20% interest in the business.

Jackson, who took over as CEO in March and immediately vowed to reduce the brands under City Centre's umbrella, told the Financial Times that the Deep Pan sale represented: "The first step towards our goal of making City Centre a more focused restaurants group."

City Centre is expected to retain its original brand Garfunkel's and the Frankie & Benny's restaurant chain.