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Norfolk Pizza Express sites in firing line as chain announces closures

PUBLISHED: 10:13 04 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:12 04 August 2020

Pizza Express in St Benedicts Street. Pic: Archant

Pizza Express in St Benedicts Street. Pic: Archant

Archant

Pizza Express has said it is looking to close 67 UK restaurants putting 1,100 jobs at risk.

The news comes as part of a major restructuring for the business as it seeks to strengthen its balance sheet.

The chain has not confirmed which restaurants will shut however the news casts doubt over Pizza Express sites across Norfolk.

The Italian chain has venues in The Forum in Norwich, as well as in the city’s St Benedicts Street. It also has a site in King’s Lynn.

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The dining chain said it plans to launch a Company’s Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal in the near future, in a move which could lead to the closure of 15pc of its 449 UK restaurants.

However, it stressed that the final outcome of the restructuring has “yet to be decided”.

Pizza Express said it has also hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business.

The company closed all its UK restaurants on March 23 after the Government-mandated lockdown.

Andy Pellington, group chief finance officer, 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.

“We can now plan to invest in both our UK&I and international businesses as well as support our teams as they return to work.”


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