Carlsbad-Based Project Pie Acquired by Pieology Pizzeria

Rancho Santa Margarita-based Pieology Pizzeria has bought competitor Carlsbad-based Project Pie.

Both are fast-casual, build-your-own pizza chains.

Pieology has more than 100 locations.

Project Pie’s website lists 20 locations, including 11 in the Philippines and others in San Diego County, Michigan, Indiana, and one in the United Kingdom.

“We are thrilled to work with new individuals who share Pieology’s passion for food and building community,” Pieology founder and Chief Executive Carl Chang said in a press release.

A purchase price wasn’t disclosed but Project Pie until June 2015 had been 40 percent owned by Vancouver, Wash.-based, publicly traded Papa Murphy's Holdings Inc., a chain of about 1,500 “take-and-bake” pizza stores.

Papa Murphy’s in late 2013, through its then-owner Lee Equity Partners LLC in New York, bought one-fourth of Project Pie for $2 million. Papa Murphy’s later increased its ownership to 40 percent with rights to increase that level.

When Papa Murphy’s sold its Project Pie stake last June it valued the 40 percent stake at $4.8 million and took a $2.7 million write-down on the transaction.

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