What does Pizza Express crisis mean for Suffolk?

It is understood that talks with creditors are intended to look at a possible reorganisation of the company's large debts

It is understood that talks with creditors are intended to look at a possible reorganisation of the company's large debts

Pizza Express is said to be the latest major restaurant chain to be struggling with the tough conditions on the high street.

It is understood that Pizza Express has appointed financial adviser Houlihan Lokey Inc.to prepare for debt talks with its creditors.

Bloomberg reported that advisers will sit down with creditors in a bid to organise the company's debts, which now stand at £665 million.

Pizza Express has stores in Shrewsbury, Telford, Merry Hill shopping centre in Brierley Hill, Walsall and Stourbridge.

It is understood that the talks with creditors are meant to look at a possible reorganisation of its large debts.

According to Bloomberg, the group has hired advisers ahead of talks with creditors who hold £465m of debt due for repayment in 2021 and £200m due the following year.

The company, which has around 600 restaurants and thousands of employees, was initially started by restaurateur Peter Boizot but in 2014 was sold to Chinese private equity group Hony Capital.

Debt covenants are terms set out between creditors and companies which typically state limits or financial thresholds which the company is not allowed to breach.

Pizza Express, which has not been immune to the deepening malaise in the casual dining sector, paid out £93m in interest payments in 2018, a year in which it reported a pre-tax loss of £55m loss, on sales of £543m.

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