Pizza Express to close 73 restaurants putting 1,100 jobs at risk, after turnaround plans approved – The Independent

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Pizza Express is to go ahead with plans to close 73 restaurants across the UK with the loss of up to 1,100 jobs after creditors voted in favour of a restructuring deal on Monday.

The struggling restaurant chain said 89 per cent of creditors backed its Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposals, which include reductions in rent.

Pizza Express joins Zizzi, Frankie & Benny’s and Byron Burger among the ranks of chains that have shut branches after sales slumped during lockdown.

The turnaround plans will see Pizza Express halve its huge £735m debt pile to £319m with around £144m of new funding set to be available to invest in growth. 

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

Last month, Pizza Express said the burden of missed sales during lockdown, additional costs to reopen and an uncertain economic outlook, meant it could no longer afford the rent bill on its restaurants.

In a statement, Pizza Express said: “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.

“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.”

The following sites have been earmarked for permanent closure:

Aberdeen – Belmont St

Barnstaple – Three Tuns

Biggleswade

Billericay

Birmingham – Corporation St

Birmingham – Mailbox

Bournemouth – Post Office Rd

Bristol – Berkeley Sq

Bristol – Regent St

Bromsgrove

Bruton Place

Charlotte St

Chippenham

Dalton Park

Darlington

Dudley – Merry Hill

Earls Court – Earls Ct Rd

Edinburgh – Holyrood

Fulham Palace Road

Glasgow – Princes Square

Ipswich – Lloyds Ave

Leeds – Crown St

Leeds – Horsforth

Melton Mowbray

Milton Keynes – Hub

New Brighton

Newport – Isle of Wight

Newport – South Wales

Northallerton

Nottingham – Goosegate

O2 Finchley

Oxford – Oxford Castle

Port Solent

Reading – St Mary’s Butts

Scarborough

Sheffield – Devonshire St

Sheffield The Moor

Southport – Old Bank

Stourbridge

Wardour St

Weston-super-Mare

Whiteley Village

Whitstable

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