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Wed 10th Feb 2021 - Cain International secures future for Prezzo, 22 restaurants to close
Cain International secures future for Prezzo, 22 restaurants to close: Cain International, the privately held investment firm operating in Europe and the US, has acquired Prezzo from its administrators through a pre-pack arrangement. The action protects the vast majority of Prezzo’s 2,900 team members’ jobs and will enable the brand to continue serving its customers and communities once hospitality is allowed to open again. A total of 22 of Prezzo’s 178 restaurants will not reopen, resulting in 216 people leaving the business as part of this process. Prezzo will continue to be led by its existing management team. Jonathan Goldstein, chief executive of Cain International, said: “We firmly believe that strong hospitality businesses, such as Prezzo, have a bright future and will play an essential role in reviving the UK economy. However, to do so, we must get through this current crisis of mounting liabilities and no revenues. The lack of visibility on when and how the sector will reopen has heightened economic uncertainty to the point where decisive action had to be taken to secure the future of the business and the majority of jobs for Prezzo’s people. We are deeply sorry for all those affected by the permanent closure of the 22 non-viable restaurants. It was a difficult, but essential, decision to take but doing so will allow us to save thousands of jobs and create more in the future.” Cain International acquired the debt and equity of the Karen Jones-chaired Prezzo in December last year. As at 10 February 2021, Prezzo’s restaurants had been able to operate for just 25 weeks out of the previous 52 weeks but with fixed costs and rent accumulating, Cain International said. Two years ago, Prezzo underwent a company voluntary arrangement that saw one third of its circa 300 sites close and a subsequent debt-for-equity swap completed. Private equity firm TPG took Prezzo private in a £303.7m deal at the end of 2014.

Heineken to cut 8,000 staff as pandemic hits sales, less than 5% affected in UK: Global brewer Heineken has announced it will cut 8,000 staff – almost 10% of its workforce – citing a sharp drop in sales due to the pandemic. The cuts will hit less than 5% of the 2,300 Heineken employees in the UK. Heineken’s restructuring plans were initially announced in October 2020 but it did not say, at the time, how many jobs would be affected. However, the employee consultation process has now ended. A Heineken UK spokesman said: “The closure of pubs in March and subsequent restrictions, including over the Christmas period, have had an impact on sales volumes of beer and cider for the full year. The NHS vaccination programme is a light at the end of the tunnel and we look forward to welcoming back consumers to pubs across the country as soon as it is safe to do so.” Heineken chief executive Dolf van den Brink added 2020 had been a year of “unprecedented disruption”. As it announced the job cuts, Heineken also reported a net loss for 2020 of €109m (£96m), having made a €1.15bn net profit the year before. The brewer said it wanted to make €2bn of savings over the three years to 2023, including cutting €350m in personnel expenses.

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