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Wed 28th Feb 2018 - Sky News – Prezzo to close 100 restaurants including all Chimichanga sites
Sky News – Prezzo to close 100 restaurants including all Chimichanga sites: Prezzo plans to close up to one-third of its 300 outlets across the UK as it battles to restructure its finances. Prezzo, which is owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, is preparing to launch a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in the coming days to push through the overhaul, Sky News reports. The closure plan would affect about 100 Prezzo-owned outlets and involve the complete closure of its Tex-Mex chain Chimichanga, according to people close to the company. Sources said the CVA process would be unveiled in the “next few days”, and would involve negotiations with landlords to secure rent reductions at many of Prezzo’s remaining restaurants. Several hundred jobs are likely to be lost as a result of the restructuring deal, although the exact figure is expected to be far lower than one-third of Prezzo’s total workforce of 4,500, an insider said. Advisory firm AlixPartners is overseeing the CVA. Prezzo is the latest in a string of restaurant businesses that have been forced to seek financial assistance from creditors, following a CVA approved by creditors to better burger brand Byron earlier this year. Meanwhile, Jamie Oliver is closing 12 restaurants, also through a CVA, in a move that will involve the loss of about 450 jobs. Barbecoa, a smaller business owned by Oliver, appointed administrators last week. Last summer, Handmade Burger Co collapsed into administration, while companies including The Restaurant Group, which owns Garfunkel’s and Frankie & Benny’s, have been forced to change their leadership teams in an effort to revive their fortunes. Prezzo has been run by Jon Hendry Pickup, a former Travelodge executive, since 2016. People close to his plans said TPG and Prezzo’s management faced a choice of taking decisive action now in an attempt to rebuild the business or drift along with its performance dragged down by a large number of unprofitable restaurants.

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