Sep 7, 2020

PizzaExpress secures backing for rescue that will cut 1,100 jobs

As many as 1,100 jobs will be lost after PizzaExpress's landlords approved a key part of its corporate restructuring that will close 73 branches, as the pizza chain is forced into drastic action to survive the coronavirus pandemic. PizzaExpress is set to be taken over by the banks and funds that own its debt through a restructuring of its finances, which will end the ownership of the UK business by Chinese owner Hony Capital after more than five years. "The successful vote unlocks the company's ability to actively address the challenges brought by Covid-19, securing over 9,000 jobs in the UK. Regrettably, the CVA proposes the closure of 73 restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk," added the company. The wider restructuring plans are still being worked on, with a dual track sales process also under way to find a buyer for the UK operations, alongside the debt restructuring negotiations. People close to the process said the most likely outcome was that control of the business would be taken by its senior debt holders, leaving Hony and the owners of the junior debt all but wiped out.

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