Pizza Express will permanently close 73 restaurants and put 1,100 jobs at risk

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Pizza Express’s plans to permanently close 73 restaurants and put 1,100 jobs at risk have been approved by its creditors.The channel said 89% of its creditors voted for its corporate voluntary agreement (CVA) restructuring deal, which will also allow it to get rent cuts.

It took a minimum of 75% of creditors to vote in favor of the deal to give it the green light.

Last month, Pizza Express said the drop in income caused by the forced closure of all restaurants during the pandemic, the cost of reopening and the UK’s uncertain economic future meant its rental costs were no longer more durable.

It is the latest in a series of chains including Azzurri Group, owner of Zizzi, Byron Burger and The Restaurant Group, owner of Frankie & Benny, to shut down sites after being hit by the lockdown.



Pizza Hut needed creditors’ approval for the move

Pizza Express said it currently has 355 restaurants open in the UK, with more than 30 expected to reopen in the coming weeks.

The restructuring will also lead to a significant deleveraging of the group’s external debt, dropping it from 735 million pounds to 319 million pounds.

Around £ 144million of new funds will be injected into the business to boost future growth.

In a statement, Pizza Express said: “The successful vote unlocks the company’s ability to actively address the challenges posed by Covid-19, securing more than 9,000 jobs in the UK.

“The directors of Pizza Express thank its creditors for their support during this time and look forward to continued partnership as the hospitality industry resumes its growth. ”

The company, which is majority owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital, also confirmed last month that it had hired advisers from Lazard to lead a process of selling the company.

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