7 September 2020
Pizza Express has announced that its creditors have approved its CVA.
In a statement, Pizza Express said today: '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.
'The directors of Pizza Express thank its creditors for their support during this period and look forward to ongoing partnership as the hospitality industry recovers to growth.'
18 August 2020
Pizza Express formally launch its CVA proposal. The insolvency tool aims to reduce its UK restaurant estate and cut its rents, to improve its operational performance among the challenging trading environment being faced due to COVID-19. Coronavirus has hit the casual dining sector massively, from the impact lockdown measures have had, preventing customers from dining out in its restaurants.
The CVA proposes 73 site closures of its current 449 around the UK. 1,100 jobs is the cost of such closures. The CVA will also reset the Group's leasehold obligations and allow for a smaller and better-invested restaurant estate by reducing rental agreements and implementing a temporary move from quarterly to monthly rents.
04 August 2020
Plans last month of Pizza Express drawing up a CVA proposal and being at threat of closure, have been made clearer.
1,100 jobs are now at risk as there are talks of 67 restaurants being closed by way of the insolvency mechanism, a company voluntary arrangement. The final outcome however is yet to be decided.
The chain blames the situation on the ‘’significantly more challenging environment’’ caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The turnaround plan being set brings hope of protecting the majority of staff and putting the business on ‘’a stronger financial footing in the new socially distanced environment’’.
Pizza Express has also hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business.
The groups chief financial officer, Andy Pellington 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’’.
16 July 2020
Pizza Express is drawing up plans to close around 75 of its 470 UK outlets, via a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
A CVA is an insolvency process which would help Pizza Express cut its rent obligations across its UK estate.
Alongside this would be a wider financial restructuring where the company’s bondholders would take control of its UK business from Hony Capital.
Sources said that the final number of proposed closures was not yet confirmed and depends on the progress of formal talks with landlords, expected to get underway as soon as next week.
If the plans go underway, hundreds of jobs from the 8,000 employed by the chain, could be at risk.
Pizza Express join the other restaurant operators which have faced difficulty amid COVID-19. Carluccio’s, Prezzo and Café Rouge owner (Casual Dining Group) have been forced to call in insolvency practitioners or explore sale processes for their survival.