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Best of Chris Sieroty

Gaming Guru

Chris Sieroty
 

Steve Wynn invests $15 million in Pie Face

14 June 2012

Steve Wynn has bought a $15 million slice of Pie Face USA, a U.S. subsidiary of an Australia-based bakery-cafe chain known for meat pot pies.

Wynn acquired 43 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of Pie Face's common stock in a private placement. He also will appoint two of five directors to the company's board of directors, according to terms of the deal.

Wynn's investment is personal and does not involve his Las Vegas-based gaming company Wynn Resorts Ltd., Michael Weaver, senior vice president marketing strategy, said Wednesday.

Based in Sydney, Pie Face Holdings Pty Ltd operates 75 locations in Australia. Wynn's private investment will help the company expand in New York City and across the United States.

No additional locations have been announced. Weaver said there have been no discussions about a Pie Face restaurant in Las Vegas or at Wynn Las Vegas or Encore.

The company's first U.S. location opened in January and is adjacent to the Ed Sullivan Theater in Times Square. Three more locations will open in New York City by the end of the year, with plans to increase their presence to 10 or 15 in the near future.

"Having met the Pie Face USA management team recently and having visited their first store in New York, I came to the conclusion that they were bright people with a bright concept," Wynn said. "I look forward to backing them as they expand throughout Manhattan and across the United States."

No word if Wynn, a dedicated vegan, tried a Pie Face meat pie or sausage pie. Weaver said he assumed Wynn had tried one because Wynn has been to the New York location.

This is Wynn's second investment in New York City. The gaming executive recently bought a $70 million condominium at the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan.

Pie Face outlets are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and specialize in homemade meat pies, along with sausage rolls, sweet meat pies, sandwiches, wraps, soups and pastries. The selections are available in two sizes: large pies, which are priced at $5.95 each, and mini pies for $2.75 each.

The company also announced that Kevin McCollum, a Broadway producer, would consult for Pie Face on marketing the company in the U.S.

"We are thrilled to have such experienced and talented entrepreneurs supporting us in the roll-out of Pie Face USA," said Wayne Homschek, CEO and co-founder of Pie Face. "We could not have asked for a better endorsement of our brand and our potential in both the United States and globally."

Pie Face Holdings plans to expand in the United Kingdom, Japan and New Zealand. Homschek and Betty Fong, chief operating officer of the company's Australian operations, founded the company in 2003.