Pizza Hut, a fast-casual restaurant chain with franchises in 13 countries, is considering taking out a big stake in the New York City pizza scene, according to people familiar with the matter.
The move comes as pizza delivery services like Uber and Deliveroo have grown to become a hot commodity in the city, where the average price of a pizza has soared nearly 30 percent since 2014.
The chain is also exploring expansion in the Philadelphia area, according the people.
Pizza Hut also is looking to acquire more restaurants in other countries, including Italy and Spain, the people said.
Pizza Haus in San Diego, which closed last year after nearly a decade of operation, is also considering a sale.
The San Diego-based company recently said it would close restaurants in Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh and will expand to other cities.
In a separate interview with Bloomberg Television, the company said it plans to launch a digital platform for its restaurant-delivery service, Pizza Hut Pizzeria, later this year.
The platform will include “a comprehensive restaurant map, restaurant listings and restaurant ratings,” the company’s chief executive, Dan Oster, said.
The deal would be a departure for the company, which has had a slow start to the year, and for Oster.
It is the first time Pizza Hut has gone public, a move analysts say is an important signal that the company is growing in its fast-growing territory.
In December, the firm announced a $7.4 billion stock buyback, making it the largest private company to sell shares since 1999.
It has also been the target of a regulatory crackdown by the Securities and Exchange Commission, a new class-action lawsuit filed by former employees and a class-wide lawsuit.
While the company has been criticized for being too big and too slow to catch up, it is seen as a leader in some of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., such as the fast-food industry, with sales that are projected to exceed $300 billion in 2020.