Pizza Express may close 67 sites and cut 1,100 jobs

Pizza Express may close 67 outlets and cut 1,100 jobs

8/4/2020 1:48:00 PM

Pizza Express may close 67 outlets and cut 1,100 jobs

High Street chain the latest to look to restructure and refinance as virus deals extra blow to trade.

Getty ImagesPizza Express is considering closing 15% of its UK restaurants, which would mean the loss of 1,100 jobs.The chain is the latest High Street outlet to undertake a restructuring of its business after trading was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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It is poised to launch an insolvency procedure which could see 67 of its 449 outlets close.The firm would not say which sites are affected, as the final outcome of the restructuring has"yet to be decided".Zoe Bowley, UK and Ireland managing director for Pizza Express, said that while the financial restructuring would be a"positive step forward", the closures would be"incredibly sad for our Pizza Express family and we will do everything we can to support our teams at this time".

Previously, Pizza Express has said the majority of its restaurants are profitable.'Encouraging' demandThe company closed all its UK restaurants on 23 March after the government-mandated lockdown.Restaurants were allowed to reopen in July. Pizza Express opened 60 initially and said in Tuesday's statement that customer demand had been"encouraging" at these. headtopics.com

It now has 166 outlets open as the Eat Out to Help Out initiative starts, and says plans for further re-openings are well underway.The company said the restructuring would put the business on a stronger financial footing in the new socially distanced environment.

Pizza Express has heavy debts and last year was known to have started talks to put its debts of more than £1bn on more favourable terms.It is expected to announce a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in the near future, which is an insolvency procedure that allows a company with debt problems to reach agreement with creditors regarding payment of all, or part of its debts.

Image copyrightA brief history of Pizza Express1965:Pizza Express founder, the late Peter Boizot, brought a pizza oven from Napoli and a chef from Sicily to open his first restaurant in London's Soho.1992:Mr Boizot grew his empire over the following almost-three decades before selling it for £15m to Hugh Osmond and Luke Johnson, the man who was - until recently - chairman of Patisserie Valerie. They floated it on the stock market the next year and ultimately sold out in 1997 when it was worth £150m.

2003:It was taken private again in a £278m deal by two private equity firms who then floated it two years later - although it lasted less than a year on the public markets before it was returned to private equity hands.2014:It changed hands again, this time to be acquired for £900m by its current owner, Chinese private equity house Hony Capital. headtopics.com

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2020:It has more than 600 restaurants globally: 454 in the UK, including five franchises; 19 in Ireland; 24 in Hong Kong; 6 in Singapore; 14 in UAE; 60 in China; and 49 other international sites operated by franchisees.Andy Pellington, group chief finance officer at Pizza Express, said:"While we have had to make some very difficult decisions, none of which has been taken lightly, we are confident in the actions being taken to reduce the level of debt, create a more focused business and improve the operational performance, all of which puts us in a much stronger position."

Julian Cox, partner at law firm BLM said:"Pizza Express is yet another household name that has been pushed to the brink by Covid-19. Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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Loooove Pizza Express!! Would be devastated if they closed the Wilmslow Branch!! doughballs 🙌🏻 Nothing to do with corona virus , they were struggling last year Very sad news! luluoliverx daisyypagex 😿 Always found this place very overpriced for the food. Prince Andrew must have stopped dating 'So that it can maintain its profits of millions of pounds as if nothing ever happened.' is the bit you missed out.

OR could it be planned ? Eat Healthy not Pizza ? all these chains were only the way out or fir a major change’ way b4 virus outbreak ?!? 👀🤔🤷‍♂️😷 Overpriced and, eh, just pizza

Pizza Express warns 67 UK restaurants and 1,100 jobs at riskPIZZA Express has warned that it will permanently close around 67 restaurants putting up to 1,100 jobs at risk. The chain said it is thinking about launching a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) i… Is a bad news to announce at this difficult moment

Lets hope this happens to the BBC News Team, after they haven't done real news for years. It’s very sad Everything is such A mess at the moment This is unreal the job losses globally over a poxy virus, were the companies ever viable in the first place 🤔 I bet Prince Andrew is sweating over this news Another Covid19 casualty...

Is it because the staff sweat too much? Get the asylum seekers to work there for free to pay for board and health care at least! Feel for job loss . But them places are way to expensive Can see all fast food chains going under as this will make those fat tears in power for stressed as its there doing because of the lockdown making firms go bust, as what we really need is cloudy meatballs falling from the sky.

Pizza Express could close almost 70 restaurants putting 1,100 jobs at riskPizza Express has said it could close around 67 of its UK restaurants, with up It's almost as if 'Eat Out to Help Out' putting the onus on the general public to risk their health to save the industry is a flawed concept. 🤔 cripttext I have a comment involving the phrases 'Prince Andrew' and 'Eat Out To Help Out' but I shall keep it to myself. More shops for papa johns then whoohooo

PizzaExpress ,Zizzi and Ask (same company) where in big trouble well before brexit and covid-19 hit. Just shows been greedy doesn't pay Not the Woking site? Surely not. Will they keep the one in Woking open? I will never forget the cracking Margherita I had there on June 4th 1993 between 2-4pm. Paid well over the odds for this overpriced food outlet ...its not a business with debt

BBCScotlandNews One in Stirling is still not open Any news on if the Pizza Express in Woking will be closed? PizzaExpress PrinceAndrew Oh snap where will price Andrew go now when he's instead of enjoying the company of underage escorts. And that's before the hit to the economy of Brexit. Oh well 'will of the people' and all that jazz

Really sad news😢🙏🙏 Prince Andrew just started sweating.

Aldi is selling ready-made stone baked and sourdough pizza bases for just 85pALDI is selling ready-made stone baked and sourdough pizza bases so you can build your own pizza. The time-saving bases will save you the faff of having to mix and knead your pizza dough from… There’s going to be dancing in the street at this news , what the fk with the rest of the baking industry do ?, obviously war will break out .

Just cost my sister a fortune to go here for birthday tea. It is way overpriced, so not shocking that it may have to cut jobs. Sad for those that work there, but you can't charge a ridiculous price for a 9' pizza. And don't get me started on the price of a bottle of wine. Never felt the desire to use one anyway

BBCScotlandNews Would these be the outlets that were empty every day long before Covid was even heard of? The company was perfectly profitable until a PE firm bought it in a leveraged buyout - this is when you take a gigantic loan to buy a company (often made of junk bonds) and secure it against the business itself. It's a horrifying financial instrument that also killed Toys 'R' Us.

This will have Randy Andy sweating....or not? bbc5live Are businesses still expected to pay full rates and rent? If so, this is only going to get worse. The government has to intervene in or there’ll be more headlines like this. Does randy Andy know? I never understood how pizza express always managed too make their pizza taste so bad

Not a happy bunny

Pizza ovens, BBQs and garden kitchens: a guide to outdoor cookingBackyard cooking is one of the great pleasures of staying at home, and an open-air kitchen can be built cheaply and easily Should be banned within 200 metres of any other building. We don’t all think stinking food smells nice.

😢 Teachers protest in Jordan over closing teachers Syndicate&detaining its members Thousands of teachers took part in protest on Monday in Irbid,Tafeleh, Jerash& East Amman Jo police attacked teachers&detained some of them With_teacher مع_المعلم_مع_النقابة Don’t close the Woking branch please. I hear that’s a great place if you need a good alibi...

Pizza Express could close almost 70 restaurants putting 1,100 jobs at riskPizza Express has said it could close around 67 of its UK restaurants, with up It's almost as if 'Eat Out to Help Out' putting the onus on the general public to risk their health to save the industry is a flawed concept. 🤔 cripttext I have a comment involving the phrases 'Prince Andrew' and 'Eat Out To Help Out' but I shall keep it to myself. More shops for papa johns then whoohooo

Pizza Express warns 67 UK restaurants and 1,100 jobs at riskPIZZA Express has warned that it will permanently close around 67 restaurants putting up to 1,100 jobs at risk. The chain said it is thinking about launching a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) i… Is a bad news to announce at this difficult moment