Prezzo CEO Jon Hendry-Pickup will stand down following the restaurant chain’s CVA, with Karen Jones set to take the position of executive chairman.
Hendry-Pickup, who is listed as a director of the group with Companies House, joined Prezzo in 2016.
While turnover for the group increased 2% to £219m during that year, with a pre-tax profit of £5m, a difficult 2017 resulted in the company seeking a CVA in March 2018.
The CVA saw the closure of 94 sites, taking the portfolio down to 208. The move included the complete closure of the group’s Tex-Mex brand Chimichanga and the Mexico collection of three restaurants.
On leaving Prezzo, Hendry-Pickup said: “I want to thank the entire team at Prezzo for their hard work and support throughout my tenure. Prezzo is in extremely capable hands with Karen and I look forward to watching Prezzo flourish, as I know it will.”
Today’s announcement follows reports that private equity firm Carlyle Group is preparing to launch a takeover bid of the troubled restaurant chain.
Prezzo was acquired by TPG in 2014 for £304m from the Kaye family, who founded the business in 2000.
Jones was a co-founder of Café Rouge, more recently chief executive of pub company Spirit Group.
She said: “I am very much looking forward to building on Prezzo’s proud 18-year heritage to create a group of welcoming Italian restaurants that customers love for their unwavering hospitality and their consistent combination of price, quality and service. Under the stewardship of Jon and the rest of the leadership team, important steps have already been taken to move Prezzo forward. There is now a reshaped estate of excellent sites filled with skillful people ready to create something compelling together. I look forward to working with Jon over the next two months and building upon the progress he and the team have made to date. I am also delighted to be working alongside TPG Capital again. We had a strong partnership at Punch and Spirit and it’s good to have the chance to recreate that.”