In Focus
LEGAL | Staff Reporter, UK

Pizza Express to close 67 restaurants amidst restructuring

Up to 1,100 jobs are at risk.

Pizza Express could shut 67 of its UK restaurants with up to 1,100 jobs at risk as it becomes the latest food business devastated by COVID-19.

The chain said it launched a major restructuring plan and is planning a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in the “near future” to push down its rents amidst a “significantly more challenging environment.”

Whilst the outcome is yet to be decided, Pizza Express said it may close around 15% of its 449 restaurants in the UK, affecting 1,100 staff.

The locations of the 67 restaurants have yet to be revealed. Pizza Express also said it hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business.

The 55-year-old company, owned by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, has debts of £735 million. The company closed all of its UK restaurants in 20 March 20 after the lockdown, and has been gradually reopening them since July.

“This decision is a very difficult one; however, against the current unprecedented backdrop, Pizza Express believes reducing the size of its estate will help it to protect 9,000 jobs,” the company said.

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